History Posts

Selective Focus: The Old West End

Photographer Nik Nerburn (previously on PDD) has just published a book of photos and stories following the last few years of transformation in Duluth’s West End, more recently and commonly known as Lincoln Park. We get a sneek peek at a few of the images in the book.

John Rudd turning a complete somersault on skis

As documented on this old postcard, Duluthian John Rudd is credited as having performed the first somersault on skies. It happened at Chester Bowl, then known as Chester Creek Hill.

Postcard from Twin Points Resort

This undated postcard, from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography, shows an aerial view from Lake Superior of Twin Points Resort in the Silver Creek Township northeast of Two Harbors. The area is now known as Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area.

Video Archive: Johnny Heartless joins Bone Appetit

Twenty years ago today — Feb. 16, 2001 — a mysterious guitar player emerged from the audience at the NorShor Theatre to join Duluth band Bone Appetit for a rendition of the Judas Priest song “Living After Midnight.”

Ye Olde Duluth Train Stations

Random collection of Duluth train station postcards.

Postcard from the Aerial Bridge in 1908

Greetings friends of Duluth!

I thought I would share a postcard with you from my Gramma Myrtle’s collection. My Gramma built an extensive collection and I have been taking some time to organize it during our frigid February.

Winter Sports in Duluth, 1929

This brochure from 1929 highlights “Winter Sports in Duluth,” including the old toboggan chute at Chester Park, as seen on the cover.

City Pages: “Hey, We’re in Duluth!”

Twenty years ago today — Feb. 6, 2001 — City Pages published a cover story on Duluth’s “tiny counterculture.” The Twin Cities alternative weekly paper ceased operations last fall and its online archive is on hiatus, but Perfect Duluth Day is here with the flashback goods.

Adventures of the Little Pats: 20 Below

Santa Claus Island circa 1875

Where precisely was Santa Claus Island and when did it collapse into Lake Superior? Well, although this photo was shot by a Duluth photographer, all signs point to the rock formation having stood on the shore of Isle Royale. The internet doesn’t easily offer answers on when it collapsed or if it still stands.

Tokle makes streamlined 197-foot jump at Duluth

On Feb. 2, 1941, Norwegian ski-jumper Torger Tokle jumped 203 feet at the new 60-meter ski jump at Fond du Lac. He’s shown in images here hitting 197 feet. An estimated 5,000 spectators were in attendance. Duluth hosted the National Ski Jumping Championship the following year.

Postcard from the Masonic Temple in Duluth

This illustrated postcard of Duluth’s Masonic Temple was mailed 110 years ago today — Jan. 31, 1911. Mrs. Baylis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa was the recipient. The card was sent by one of her children, who was staying at the McKay Hotel.

Morgan Park: Remembering Our Past

Retired Duluth Fire Chief John Strongitharm put together this half-hour photo slideshow depicting the history of Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood. It’s been 50 years since United States Steel announced it would begin phasing out its Duluth Mill operations, but much of the Model Community it created in the early 20th century remains.

Mystery Photo #130: Going Some

Going some? Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Seems like a weird name for a fake boat.

The back of this postcard photo indicates it was shot at the Owl Studio, 10 E. Superior. St., next to Duluth’s Empress Theatre. Estimated year: 1912.

Postcard from Duluth’s Downtown Motel

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography offers a view of the Downtown Motel at 131 W. Second St. in Duluth. Built in 1959, the motel later became known as the Best Western Downtown and is still in operation, now as the Downtown Duluth Inn, owned by ZMC Hotels.

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