History Posts

Postcard from Northland Country Club

This undated postcard, published by Krieman’s Lyceum News & Book Store, shows Duluth’s Northland Country Club circa the 1930s.

Retired Duluth librarian writes second book

Duluth Stories: People and Events from the Zenith City’s Past was published by the author with the help of X-Presso Books in January.

Did you know that German prisoners of war worked in local lumber camps during World War Two? That the Zenith City produced four opera divas and eight classical-music composers? That no fewer than six Duluthians worked on the Manhattan Project, developing the world’s first atomic bombs? Inside these pages, retired Duluth Public Library reference librarian David Ouse tells the tales of not only accomplished Duluthians — including local women who broke down barriers by becoming the first female practitioners of traditionally male professions — but also of visits from the famous, the exploits of a couple of “human flies,” two early (and lost) motion pictures set in the Zenith City, and much more.

Duluth Artificial Limb House

Long before Duluth had a House of Donuts it had a house of limbs. This ad is from the 1900 Duluth-Superior city directory.

Video Archive: Duluth cineplex announced in 2003

It was 20 years ago that Duluth Entertainment Convention Center officials announced plans to build an eight-screen movie theater next to the DECC’s Omnimax theater. Within a few weeks the plan expanded to 10 screens and had the name Canal Park 10. When it opened on Dec. 22, 2004, it bore the name Duluth 10 and was operated by Cinema Entertainment Corp.

Literary History: Duluth Manuscript Club

As I’m exhuming? excavating? exploring? the literary history of Duluth (largely by scooping up books from thrift stores and picking up connections with people wherever I can find them) I find the weirdest things, like books published by the Duluth Manuscript Club.

Postcard from the Alworth Building in 1913

This postcard of Duluth’s Alworth Building was mailed Aug. 11, 1913 — 110 years ago today. Someone named Mary sent it from Duluth to Miss Julia Heskin in Minneapolis.

Riding High on the Aerial Lift Bridge

This wacky postcard was mailed 55 years ago today — Aug. 8, 1968. The caption on the back reads: “Riding High on the Famous Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota.”

Part Way to the Majors: The 1970 Duluth Dukes

The 1971 educational film Part Way to the Majors, a documentary produced by ABC News for the Sunday afternoon series Discovery, follows the Duluth-Superior Dukes as they road trip to Sioux Falls, S.D. The film starts and ends at Wade Stadium in Duluth.

Postcard from a “Log Raft”

The location this photo was shot from is not entirely clear, but the caption on back reads, “Log Raft as seen along the Lake Superior Circle Route.” It’s from an undated postcard published by Gallagher’s Studio of Photography in Duluth.

Ripped at ‘R’ Place Bar & Grill in 2003

[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Twenty years ago the Sultan of Sot paid a visit to ‘R’ Place Bar & Grill and wrote the article below for the Aug. 6, 2003 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper. ‘R’ Place, located a few miles outside Superior at 6611 State Highway 13 in South Range, has been out of business for many years.]

The first thing I do when I walk into ‘R’ Place is check to see if Jake is still alive. It’s hard to tell sometimes. He tends to sprawl out in the middle of the floor for extended naps. Sometimes he’ll look up when you step over him, but not always.

Jake, by the way, is an old, fat golden retriever. But he’s no ordinary old, fat golden retriever. He’s on a short list of candidates for being the best bar-dog ever. That’s because, when he is awake, he knows how to entertain. His best trick goes like this:

1) You take a dollar bill and present it to him like food.

Seeking Urban Ground Café Photos

Seeking photos/videos of the Temple Opera Block (inside and/or outside) from 1995-6 when it housed the Urban Ground Cafe.

If you’re ever up in Duluth, remember to look me up

The 1981 comedy/action film The Cannonball Run includes a mention of Duluth. Lamborghini Girls #1 and #2, played by Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman, respectively, are pulled over for speeding. In a successful effort to sweettalk the highway patrol, the girls supply him with a phone number.

“If you’re ever up in Duluth, remember to look me up,” Buckman says.

Duluth Waterfront Aerial Photo Circa 1903

This image from the Minnesota Digital Library, contributed from the Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives & Special Collections is estimated to be from the year 1903 — 120 years ago. It shows the Duluth Shipping Canal prior to construction of the Aerial Bridge, along with views of Canal Park, Rice’s Point and the old West End.

West Duluth before the Interstate

1939 aerial photo from the UM

MnDOT’s John Bray wrote in The Will and the Way: “Approximately 700 homes were razed or moved in West Duluth” to make way for Interstate 35.

The Black Labels at the Red Lion Lounge in 2004

Gomez takes lead guitar on this ditty during the Winter Riot at the Red Lion Lounge — Dec. 18, 2004. This show featured a mix of surf, rock ‘n’ roll, and reggae tunes. If anyone still has a Winter Riot T-shirt, I’d be interested in obtaining it.

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