History Posts

Documents from the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project at UMD are now live

History is being written today.

Documents from the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project at the University of Minnesota Duluth are now live. More information about the project can be found at lib.d.umn.edu. If you would like to learn more, including information on how to submit, please check out the research guide.

This is a great resource, including art by UMD colleagues and friends.

Postcard from Mesabi Open Pit Iron Mine in Virginia

This undated postcard shows scenes from the Mesabi Iron Range, the largest of four iron ranges in northeast Minnesota. The card uses a spelling more often associated with a roadway in Duluth — Mesaba Avenue.

W9MMS Duluth

Nerds will explain this in the comments.

Video Archive: Buying Pot in Duluth in 1972

In this 1972 clip from WDIO-TV, reporter Stu Stronach enlists cameraman Mark Ryan to buy an ounce of marijuana on Fourth Avenue West and Superior Street.

Ethan Freel transferred this film to video and added the music.

Postcard from Glenn Rock in Duluth

Remember when all of Duluth’s houses were pink? It was back when we all lived in the land of make-believe known as the illustrated postcard era.

So, what was “Glenn Rock”?

Postcard from a Foreign Vessel at the Aerial Lift Bridge

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography depicts a “foreign vessel going under famous Aerial Lift Bridge,” according to the caption on the back.

PDD Video Lab: Starbelle and the Aerial Lift Bridge

In this edition of the PDD Video Lab we watch the bulk carrier Starbelle pass through the Duluth Ship Canal and under the Aerial Lift Bridge via footage from Richter Home Movies. The final 15 seconds features a nice look at Canal Park circa the early 1960s.

Mystery Photo #104: October House

These two buildings still exist in Duluth, in slightly altered form. They are significant for different reasons. One of them is one of the oldest standing buildings in Duluth.

What are they currently used for? What was the October House? Hint: A baker named Bergetta Moe was involved at one point.

Apple Man: Duluth’s Depression-Era Action Hero

Reconstructed by the Richardson Bros. from records at the St. Louis County Historical Society

Full text below.

Someone’s got it

I was reminiscing of the olden days of Duluth, way back in 2001, where on First Street you could get a roast beef sandwich on a European Bakery roll for a dollar at Fichtner’s butcher shop.

I feel certain that the recipe for that roast beef a) is simpler than I expect and b) won’t translate to the home oven — that the secret was a 30-pound chunk of beef, sliced, sitting in hotel pan in the window for hours.

Anyway, if anyone has the recipe, please share.

PDD Video Lab: Old Iron Range Footage

In this edition of the PDD Video Lab we take a cruise through Virginia, Chisholm and Hibbing circa the 1960s with footage from Richter Home Movies set to the tune of Iron & Wine’s “Weary Memory” from the 2002 album The Creek Drank the Cradle.

Postcard from Duluth’s Lighthouse Lot in Canal Park

This undated postcard from the Gallagher Studio of Photography shows the parking lot near the Duluth Shipping Canal, which is known as the Lighthouse Lot.

The caption on the back of the card reads:

Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota
Westerly Terminus of the St. Lawrence Seaway

Sylvester’s Downtown Duluth Store

Something to keep your mind busy today … Does anybody remember a store in Downtown Duluth in the 1990s named Sylvester’s? What did they sell and where was it located?

Duluthians shed tears openly at news of Roosevelt’s death

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office on April 12, 1945, after a massive intracerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Shown here is how it was reported in Duluth.

Duluth’s story told by one of its greatest chroniclers

Tony Dierckins is among Duluth’s greatest resources. Few have given so much of their time and energy to telling the story of the city. As a small publisher, perhaps few have taken as many personal risks hoping the stories of Duluth will find their audiences.