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History Posts

How we do things at Duluth, Minn.

It’s difficult to make out the line of red text at the top of this old postcard, but it reads: “How we do things at Duluth, Minn.” Apparently “how we do things” is we doctor images to make raspberries appear to be the size of pineapples.

The undated postcard is credited to “Johnson, Photographer, Waupun, Wis.”

Duluth Trivia Deck Sampler #13

More from the deck found at Savers …

1. In 1871, who ridiculed the City of Duluth in the House of Representatives, helping to defeat a land grant bill?
2. What was “The Clark House”?
3. Who was J. B. Culver?
4. When was the Grand Opera House destroyed by fire?
5. Who was Oliver G. Traphagen?
6. In 1891, what downtown Duluth building was called “the handsomest and costliest building in the Northwest?

Postcard from First Presbyterian Church of Duluth

First Presbyterian Church established its congregation 150 years ago today — June 1, 1869. It’s magnificent sandstone structure at 300 E. Second St. was built from 1890 to 1891. The image above is from an undated postcard published by Duluth photographer Robert B. Barrett. More history of the church is online at fpcduluth.org/history.

Mystery Photo #92: Minnesota Slip Drawbridge

This old slide image shows a cabin cruiser passing under the Minnesota Slip Drawbridge, a pedestrian bridge spanning the Minnesota Slip on the Duluth waterfront. When was this photo taken?

Duluth Trivia Deck Sampler #12

A few years ago, I bought a Duluth Trivia game at Savers. Here are some more questions.

1. Where is the Chambers Grove picnic area?
2. What is the name of the annual dog sled race that begins in Duluth?
3. What is the name of the longest fresh-water sandspit in the world?
4. How many stars are in the cluster of stars in the official seal of the city of Duluth? What do they represent?
5. Who was William T Boutwell?
6. When was Fond du Lac annexed by the city of Duluth?

Postcards from Split Rock Lighthouse

On the list of iconic structures in the Arrowhead region, the Split Rock Lighthouse is probably #2 between the Aerial Lift Bridge and Enger Tower as the most photographed. It has been featured on an endless array of postcards over the past century.

Does anyone have any info on the pioneer behind the name of the Lester River?

My maiden name is Lester. Through the years we have been told of a great-great grandfather Albert Julius Lester, who fathered a son William O. Lester.

Mystery Photo #91: Duluth Grocers

This old photo shows two men standing in a grocery store. The back of the photo indicates it’s in Duluth, Minn. and gives the names of the men. Unfortunately, the photo of the back side of this photo is blurry and difficult to read, but it looks like Gust Hjelm is one of the names.

Duluth Boat Club circa 1906

This photo from the Detroit Publishing Company shows the Duluth Boat Club on the bay side of Minnesota Point at South Tenth Street. A previous clubhouse existed where Bayfront Park is today, but the facility shown in the photo above was built in 1903 and was destroyed by fire in 1951.

Postcard from Thompson Hill Information Center and Rest Area

This undated postcard has the following text on the back:

The Thompson Hill Information Center and Rest Area is located at the junction of I-35 and US 2 on a 28 acre site overlooking the St. Louis River Valley and the Duluth-Superior metropolitan area. The Information Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with tourist and travel information and road condition reports available during the day as a service of the Minnesota Highway Department.

PDD Quiz: Parks of Duluth

Now that spring has (maybe) sprung, Duluth’s many parks and green spaces are beckoning. Take this week’s quiz to learn more about parks located in neighborhoods from Central Hillside to Congdon Park. While an earlier PDD quiz explored parks on the western side of town, it’s no longer available because the platform supporting the quiz changed, so we’ll revisit western parks and other neighborhood parks in future PDD quizzes.

Duluth’s Historical Parks: Their First 160 Years, by Tony Dierckins and Nancy S. Nelson, was an invaluable resource for this quiz (as was Dierckins’ Zenith City Online).

The next quiz, reviewing current events, will be published on May 26. Please email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by May 23.

A Nice Catch of Trout from Northern Minnesota

The text on the back of this undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography reads simply: “A nice catch of trout from northern Minnesota.”

The 2019 lake and stream trout seasons open on May 11.

A People’s History of the People’s Free Skate

Hear the totally true story of the People’s Free Skate Rink from its creators: Lake Superior Aquaman and Robot Rickshaw interviewed by Ryan Welles on his podcast “True Stories and Other Damage.” Featuring the genesis of it, all the behind the scenes information, anecdotes, and a few extravagant claims, finishing up with the harrowing account of our iceberg ride.

Frisco or Dust Shields?

What that scribbled message on the front of this postcard is all about will have to be left to speculation in the comments. The card was mailed 110 years ago — May 4, 1909.

Postcard from Thomson Dam Hydro Station

This card is postmarked May 3, 1909 — 110 years ago today. Edis Johnson sent it from Duluth to Mr. H.T. West of Toronto, Canada.