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History Posts

Mystery mural found during NorShor Theatre renovation

At a May 31 news conference, Duluth Playhouse Executive & Artistic Director Christine Gradl Seitz showed off a canvas painting discovered by workers busy renovating the NorShor Theatre. The Duluth News Tribune reports the painting was “behind a suspended ceiling that was installed in 1941 when the existing Orpheum Theatre was converted into the NorShor. The grand theater’s original balcony had been concealed and transformed into a makeshift attic. But Gradl Seitz said a careful exploration of the space revealed ‘this beautiful mural, which we believe dates back to 1910, and the original Orpheum.'”

The NorShor is expected to open in early 2018; the Playhouse has a run of the musical Mamma Mia scheduled for Feb. 8-24. Renovation work is about 60 percent complete.

The theater was purchased by the Duluth Economic Development Authority in June 2010 for $2.6 million. The $30.5-million renovation began in summer 2016. It is a partnership between Sherman Associates and DEDA. The 750+ seat theater will serve as an arts center managed by the Duluth Playhouse.

Postcard from Brindos’ London Road Court

Marketed as “Duluth’s finest auto court,” located “on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior,” Brindos’ London Road Court boasted 14 “all modern” units. Amenities included housekeeping facilities, electric refrigeration, gas range, shower baths, lavatories, automatic gas heat and hot water.

Exploring the Superior Entry Lighthouse on Wisconsin Point

The latest adventure on the Substreet website takes readers inside the Superior Entry Lighthouse, where every step “happens with an echoing crunch.”

As for the view from the top: “For 180 degrees, there is nothing but water, clouds, and a beautiful sandy beach backgrounded by pine trees and dune grass.”

Remains of James J. Hubert finally coming home to Duluth

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant James Joseph Hubert, a Duluthian who fought and died during the Battle of Tarawa Island in the Pacific Theater of World War II, is finally coming home. He was killed in action and buried in 1943, but when the war was over his remains were not found … until more than seven decades later.

Sgt. Hubert will be returned to Duluth this summer with full military honors. A formal funeral and burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery on July 15.

The full story is available on jamesjosephhubert.com and will likely be heavily featured in Duluth media over Memorial Day weekend.

A detailed interview with Jay Hagen, nephew of Sgt. Hubert, was broadcast in March on WDSM radio’s Sound Off! with Brad Bennett program. The interview is available for listening and downloading at wdsm710.com.

Postcards from New Yorker Patio Restaurant in Duluth

New Yorker Patio Restaurant was known as the “home of Duluth’s original hickory charcoal broiler.” Located in the Fifth Avenue Hotel at 9 S. Fifth Ave. W., the restaurant offered fine food and cocktails, “expertly prepared and served in a unique atmosphere of comfort rarely found anywhere.” The proprietors were Fred and Loretta McAllister.

Mystery Photo #52: The homely mugs of Ella and Dave

This postcard photo of a couple perhaps from or visiting Duluth appears to have never been mailed, though it is addressed to Mrs. F. Welch of Eau Galle, Wis. On the back of the card, in the upper left corner, are presumably the names of the photo subjects, Ella and Dave. Their last name is faded out, but clearly the final three letters are s-o-n.

Video Archive: Billy Jack Haynes and Adrian Adonis cut wrestling promos for 1987 Duluth appearances

The World Wrestling Federation brought its first card to Duluth 30 years ago — May 14, 1987. The main event featured Billy Jack Haynes losing a chain match to Hercules Hernandez. The syndicated TV program Superstars of Wrestling featured two promos for the Duluth Arena card tucked into the commercial breaks of local broadcasts. One featured Haynes (above) and another starred Adrian Adonis (below).

PDD Quiz: Lake Superior Zoo

 

Test your knowledge of the Lake Superior Zoo, its history and its inhabitants in this month’s quiz.  The next PDD Quiz, covering May 2017 headlines, will be published on May 28. Please send any question suggestions to Alison Klawiter at [email protected] by May 25.

No city in America is growing so rapidly today as is Duluth

Duluth Street Railway Trolley Barns

Duluth Street Railway trolley barns on the upper side of Superior Street between 26th and 27th avenues west. Photo dated ninety years ago — May 10, 1927.

Mystery Photo #51: Lakeside Reunion

Lakeside-Reunion-1961-

Usually with the “Mystery Photos” series we know very little about the featured image at the start and learn a variety of details after publishing it. In this case we know a lot going in, but one detail is missing.

Postcard from the Bellows restaurant in Duluth

The Bellows was a fine dining restaurant and cocktail lounge that operated at 2230 London Road from 1969 to 1997. It was founded by Don M. and Verna Bellows, and the round-shaped design came from architect Robert W. Prestidge.

Gopher Lounge Photos Circa 1995

Take a step back in time and view some of the friendly faces at West Duluth’s Gopher Lounge during the mid 1990s. Some of these folks are long departed; others still prowl the area of Ramsey Street and Central Avenue in search of porcupine meatballs.

In Duluth, it helps to have clothing that is “bigger than weather.”

Patrick-Bigger-than-weather

Postcard from Grandma’s Saloon & Deli

Grandma's Saloon Duluth

Founded by Andy Borg and Mick Paulucci, Grandma’s Saloon opened at 522 S. Lake Ave. on Feb. 8, 1976. The undated postcard shown above depicts the restaurant’s early days, when it went by the name Grandma’s Saloon & Deli. The moniker eventually was changed to Grandma’s Saloon & Grill.