History Posts

Duluth’s North Star Festival and Golden Jubilee of 1920

The Duluth Public Library’s Vintage Duluth blog has published a feature on Duluth’s North Star Festival and Golden Jubilee, which took place 100 years ago. The events marked Duluth’s 50th year as a city.

Postcard from Jay Cooke State Park

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography shows a waterfall and the famous swinging bridge on the St. Louis River at Jay Cooke State Park.

Mystery Photo #121: Buggy Boys

A recurring source of confusion in the Mystery Photo series is whether particular images that share the stamp of the Post Card Shop in Minneapolis and the Penny Arcade in Duluth were shot in Minneapolis or Duluth. Here is another such image.

Three Minnesota women who paved way for women suffrage

To mark a century of women voting, Minnesota Public Radio took a look back at the work of three Minnesota women who helped break down barriers and paved the way for women’s suffrage. The trio includes Duluthian Sarah Burger Stearns.

Postcard from the Duluth Civic Center

This early 1970s postcard shows Duluth’s Civic Center, which includes the St. Louis County Courthouse, Duluth City Hall, Gerald W. Heaney Federal Building, St. Louis County Jail and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Mystery Photo #120: Another from Cook Ely

This image from the Ely Studio of Duluth comes to Perfect Duluth Day via Neal Eisenberg, a native Duluthian.

PDD Quiz: Street Namesakes

All map images retrieved from Google Maps.

Howard Gnesen, Morris Thomas, Jean Duluth … how much do you know about the namesakes of the region’s double-named roads? Take this week’s PDD quiz to find out!

The next PDD quiz, on August’s headlines and happenings, will be published on Aug. 30. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Aug. 26.

Steamer Christopher Columbus at Duluth

The Library of Congress captions this image “Steamer Christopher Columbus from Duluth passing industrial buildings,” and dates it “between 1900 and 1915.”

The SS Christopher Columbus was the longest whaleback ship ever built and the only one outfitted to serve as a passenger steamer — the rest were cargo barges. It was built by American Steel Barge Company in Superior and was in service from 1893 to 1933.

Postcard from American Steel and Wire Works

This undated postcard was published by H. C. Wick Company of Duluth, and features an Ektachrome photograph by Rod Peterson.

The caption on the back of the card reads:

American Steel & Wire plant at Morgan Park, Duluth, Minn. View from Skyline Boulevard.

Dwight Woodbridge’s 1920 Sub-Arctic Exploration

One century ago, Duluth’s Dwight Woodbridge returned from a trip exploring “uncharted islands” in Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada. His story appears in the Aug. 10, 1920 Duluth Herald.

Mystery Photos #118 and #119: Gals at H. Mathieson Studio

Many early studio photographers around Duluth printed their photographs on flowery pre-printed cabinet cards, often with their names prominently displayed. Often the name of the person photographed is lost to history, but we can easily locate the photographer in the records more than 100 years later.

West Duluth Gardens of 1920

There seems to be a gardening boom in 2020, obviously due to more people staying home during the pandemic. West Duluth has a bit of a reputation for having had numerous gardens a century ago that slowly petered out in more recent decades. According to an article in the Aug. 7, 1920 Duluth Herald, gardening in West Duluth got a big boost from the neighborhood’s commercial club.

Postcard from the S.S. North West

This postcard was mailed 110 years ago today — Aug. 4, 1910 — from A. Nelson in Duluth to Miss Louise Skoug in Two Harbors.

According to the Historic Detroit website, the North West “began its life as one of the finest passenger steamers ever built for service on the Great Lakes — and, after a series of unusual events, ended that life by being torpedoed by the Germans during World War II.”

Postcard from Duluth’s Hillside in 1950

This postcard was mailed Aug. 2, 1950 — 70 years ago today. It features a view of Duluth’s harbor entrance, ship canal, Lake Superior and the Downtown business district.

“The Snowbirds are coming!” Duluth Airbase Open House, 1980

Forty years ago today.

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