History Posts

Selective Focus: Annelisa Roseen

Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Annelisa Roseen started posting a photo of herself in make-up and costumes looking like a person who has a birthday on that day. The individual images are entertaining and impressive, but when you view the body of work as Instagram thumbnails, you get a much better sense of the variety, commitment, and skills Roseen has to make this work. It’s not just about the props and make-up, the expressions in her face, whether deadpan or over the top, are often the thing that make the connection to the celebrity.

What was the inspiration for this ongoing project?

I had seen that it was Gloria Steinem’s birthday; she is one of my heroes. So when I was brushing out my two-day-old pandemic bun I noticed I was sporting a kind of ’70s Gloria-frizz-do. So I took a selfie (no real make-up or costume) and posted a happy birthday to her. The next day I saw it was Lenard Nimoy’s birthday and thought “that would be funny” to do him today. I studied pics and read up on his life. And then I never stopped! I have been doing my #homageaday every day since then! Every day I pick someone whose work is inspiring or meaningful or has made an impact on culture. I love becoming these (big and small) icons each day! Most days I do an individual’s face, but sometimes I honor their image in a different way — like I did James Brown’s feet dancing on his birthday.

Duluth’s Neighborhood Telephone Exchanges, 1920

One hundred years is a long time, and the Duluth of one hundred years ago can seem like a place without much connection to the present. But whether we are aware of them or not, elements of the past always carry over into the present. As an illustration of that, these five images, taken by Duluth photographer Hugh McKenzie and included in UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections, show the city’s neighborhood telephone exchanges in 1920. Shown individually below, they are followed by the most recent Google Streetview image of the same location.

PDD Quiz: Superior’s Architectural Details

This week’s quiz is a companion to last month’s Duluth architectural details quiz. See how many Superior buildings you can identify based on their architectural features (and a few written clues)! To learn more about the buildings in this quiz, check out the Wisconsin Historical Society website, which was an invaluable resource for this quiz.

The next PDD quiz will test your knowledge of June 2020 headlines; it will be published on June 28. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by June 24.

Postcard from Park Point in 1910

Ah, the days of streetcars on Park Point.

The written message on this postcard is dated June 14, 1910, which matches the postmark. It was mailed out of St. Paul to Miss Laura Werdin of Janesville, Wis.

Northeastern Minnesota Nomenclature: How Duluth-area cities, townships, lakes and rivers were named

One hundred years ago, the Minnesota Historical Society published a 735-page book by Warren Upham outlining the history behind the names of Minnesota municipalities and bodies of water.

Postcard from the Loneyville Motel

This undated postcard, published by the Elton H. Gujer Company, promotes the Loneyville Motel at 7717 Congdon Boulevard, a half mile northeast of Brighton Beach in Duluth. It’s the present-day location of North Shore Cottages.

Selective Focus: Community Mural at the CJM Memorial

Visual artist Moira Villiard organized a mural project at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial as part of a day of creative expression on Monday, June 8. People were invited to add to the images she created of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a raised fist. The activities also included interviews of black, indigenous and people of color on the topic of police brutality. The interviews will be used in a documentary produced by DanSan Creatives. June 15 marks 100 years since the lynching of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Issac McGhie in downtown Duluth for a crime they didn’t commit.

E. Rose’s Boot & Shoe Bazaar of Duluth

This Victorian trade card promotes E. Rose’s Boot and Shoe Bazaar, a Duluth retailer of Burt’s Fine Shoes. Info on the store isn’t easy to come by, but a pair of newspaper ads found after this post was initially published indicate the store was open from 1882 to 1886.

Virtual Field Trip: Lester River Fish Hatchery

For this report we turn to our junior news team at Raleigh Edison Charter School.

Postcard from the Steamer Easton

This undated postcard from the V. O. Hammon Publishing Company shows the Steamer Easton in the Duluth Harbor. The image can be roughly dated between 1905 and 1917.

Duluth’s Empress Theatre

The building that has been home to the Electric Fetus music and gift store since 1987 was once a theater. From 1903 to 1911 the Bijou Theatre operated at 12 E. Superior St. until it was renamed the Empress Theatre. It burned in 1915, but the structure survived and was converted to retail.

Gold Mine Camp on the Vermilion River in Buyck

Buyck is about 100 miles north of Duluth. Presumably this 1940s-era photo depicts cabins at what is the modern-day fishing and hunting camp that bears the name Gold Mine Camp.

Louis Oreck: Dealer in Curios

The business card above touts the goods for sale at Louis Oreck’s Curios store in Downtown Duluth circa the 1910s: souvenirs, American Indian crafts and mineral specimens.

PDD Video Lab: 1963 Duluth Footage

For this edition of the PDD Video Lab we’ve once again taken a silent film from Dominic Chione’s archive — this one from 1963 — and paired it with music by Duluth/Superior’s own Jerree Small. The track is “60 Words for Water” from the 2004 album Mobius.

Watch for a nice cameo appearance at the 1:30 mark by the old Sky Room Restaurant at the Buena Vista.

PDD Quiz: Duluth’s Architectural Details

Can you identify some of Duluth’s historic architecture based on decorative details (and a few hints)? Quiz on to find out!

The next PDD quiz will test your knowledge of May 2020 headlines; it will be published on May 31. Please submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by May 27.