History Posts

Postcard from Arch Street in Cloquet, 1912

Sidney Dahl of St. Cloud was the recipient of this postcard mailed 110 years ago today — April 23, 1912. The sender’s name was Ingga.

It’s LTD Duluth!

This Twin Cities Public Television documentary, broadcast circa 1980, has a brief but kind-of-sexy Duluth moment. A clip from a Northland Ford commercial at the 12:12 mark of the video shows actors playing a Duluth couple standing in front of the Ford product chosen to represent the Zenith City — an LTD Country Squire station wagon with simulated woodgrain siding.

Ripped at Shooter’s Saloon in 2002

[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. The Sultan of Sot visited Shooter’s Saloon, 624 Tower Ave. in Superior, and composed this article for the April 3, 2002 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper. Shooter’s went out of business circa 2009.]

Shooter’s Saloon is a really nice place. The people who work there are efficient and friendly. The drinks are reasonably priced. The room is large and there are pool tables and a video hunting game with a big orange shotgun. Every time I go to Shooter’s, a live band is performing for no cover charge. Yet, it’s still the kind of a scene a judgmental guy like me looks at and says to himself, “How can I wreck this by weaponizing my prejudice?”

See, Shooter’s is a country-western line-dancing bar, and country-western line-dancing people love to go there. This is the one, only and perfectly acceptable reason why I’m bothered by Shooter’s and want to wreck it. I want to go up to any of the ridiculous posers there and say, “Howdy pardner. Nice belt buckle. You look like Nick Bockwinkel. Is that the AWA belt or World Class? Say, I have a question for you. I was just thinking about how Halloween was five months ago, yet you are still dressed up like you’re in a gay bar in Nashville, which got me to wondering, have you ever once milked, roped or gutted anything? Have you even shot a BB gun at a beer can? I mean, come on Hoss, we’re on the boozebelt of Superior, Wis. Who are you kidding?”

Postcard from the Opening of Navigation Season

This undated postcard shows a freighter entering the Duluth Shipping Canal at some point in the early 1900s.

Mystery Photos: Wide Awake and Green Dragon Studios

The three gentlemen in the photos above appear to be the same guys in different positions in front of different backgrounds with different cowboy outfits. They also are at two different Duluth photo studios, according to the ink stamps on the back. The first is from the Green Dragon Studio at 18 E. Superior St., and the second is from the Wide Awake Studio at 10 E. Superior St.

1930s Footage of Duluth’s Streetcars and Incline Railway

The Minnesota Streetcar Museum presents this rare collection of Duluth streetcar footage from the 1930s — much of it in color — including scenes from West Duluth, Woodland and Downtown. The video was written, produced, narrated and directed by historian Aaron Isaacs, with production assistance from Bill Olexy.

Duluth’s streetcars were replaced by buses in 1939.

Jiminy Glick on hanging out with O. J. Simpson in Duluth

Twenty years ago today — March 30, 2002 — Jiminy Glick shared with Andy Richter his story of hanging out with O.J. Simpson in Duluth.

Jiminy Glick, of course, is a character played by comic actor Martin Short. The scene is from season 2, episode 6 of Primetime Glick, a series that aired on Comedy Central.

Postcard from a Logging Scene in Duluth

Postcard from Lookout Point

“Lookout Point” is probably meant in a generic sense in this postcard, as in “a lookout point.” And if the illustration is based on what a specific piece of Lake Superior shoreline looked like roughly a century ago, that shoreline has obviously changed in appearance over time.

Postcard from City Loan Company of Duluth

This 90-year-old postcard, published by Curt Teich & Co. of Chicago, promotes the City Loan Company in Duluth’s Providence Building. The card is postmarked March 16, 1932. Jesse Leach of 612 N. 57th Ave. W. was the recipient.

The Providence Building opened in 1895 at 332 W. Superior St. and remains there today.

PDD Quiz: Notable Duluth Women

In honor of Women’s History Month, this week’s PDD quiz tests your knowledge of Duluth’s women of note.

The next PDD quiz will look back at the headlines and happenings of March 2022; it will be published on March 27. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by March 23.

Ripped at Sanitary Harry’s in 2002

[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. The Sultan of Sot penned this article for the March 6, 2002 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper. Sanitary Harry’s went out of business not long after.]

St. Louis County Highway 7 is a long, thirsty road. I started tonight’s quest in Twig, figuring there would be some combination bait, liquor and grocery store there, and the proprietor would offer me a stool, creating a bar-enough atmosphere. No such luck. If there is any booze in Twig, I can’t find it. It’s enough of a task for me just to find Twig. Any attempt to retune the radio or pay attention to traffic is enough distraction to completely miss the tiny township so feebly, yet aptly, named.

If I am anything, however, I am determined. True, quite often I am not anything, but tonight I am indeed determined; “determined” being a synonym for “thirsty.” So I keep motoring down Highway 7, and, after mile upon mile of driving through more and more nothing, I start hoping for space aliens or Sasquatch to please abduct and abuse me before I die alone of sobriety. Finally, I find a small shack in Kelsey with a bunch of Arctic Cat jackets mulling around outside it, marking the spot. Aliens, Sasquatch … the Snowmobile Monkeys of Kelsey will be close enough for me. The name of their headquarters is Sanitary Harry’s.

Postcard from the Ski Scaffold in Duluth

The ski scaffold in this postcard should not be confused with “Big Chester,” the jump that stood in Chester Park from 1924 to 2014. The postmark on this card is March 8, 1912.

Harbor View, 1973

Artwork by Patsy Reed High titled “Harbor View,” dated 1973.

Mystery Photo: The Girls

This postcard photo was taken at Arcade studio, 110 W. Superior St. in Downtown Duluth. Based on a few other Arcade photos, the prevailing theory is that the studio was called Penny Arcade until about 1915 and then became simply Arcade, or Arcade Camera Shop/Studio or Arcade Photo Supply Company. Thomas W. Furniss was the proprietor.

Who are “the girls”? Well, that detail might be lost to history.

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