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History Posts

Ten years without Bayside Market

Ten years ago today, Bayside Market at 1901 Minnesota Ave. closed after 37 years in business. Originally named Clem’s Market, it was the only grocery store in the Park Point neighborhood.

Postcard from the Sellwood Building

This postcard, mailed 110 years ago today — Dec. 29, 1908 — depicts what was then the relatively new Sellwood Building at 202 W. Superior St. in Downtown Duluth. The Sellwood still stands today, with Western Bank as its most visible tenant.

Geek out on this Canal Park history map

Students enrolled in a Fall 2018 visual journalism course at the University of Minnesota Duluth used ArcGIS software to tell stories about Canal Park using mapping technology. The collaborative project tells 25 stories spanning more than 100 years.

Link: A History of Canal Park

Students curated visual materials and other sources for this project from various places that include the UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library; UMD Archives & Special Collections; the Duluth News Tribune archives; Zenith City Press and other publicly available sources.

Postcards from Silver Creek Cliff

Before the Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel was built in the early 1990s, Highway 61 wound around the edge of the cliff. Drivers relied on skill and luck to avoid tumbling boulders or anything that might send them plunging over the edge into Lake Superior. The Gitchi-Gami State Trail was later built following the old Highway 61 path.

Mystery Photo #82: Miss Edna May Boyle

Here she is, Edna May Boyle, 120 years ago. Who was she? Why did she get her photo shot on Christmas Day 1898? Well, if we knew that it wouldn’t be a mystery photo, would it?

Christmas Greetings from Lester Park in Duluth, Minn.

Mystery Photo #81: Markus Family, Christmas 1893

Some mystery photos are less mysterious than others. Often cabinet card photos have nothing written on the back, but this particular card comes with info suggesting the subjects are William Frederick Markus and his family. The photo was likely shot 125 years ago, around Christmas of 1893.

PDD Quiz: Restaurants and Bars of Yesteryear

Reminisce about the bygone restaurants and bars of Duluth with this month’s quiz!

The next PDD quiz, reviewing the headlines of 2018, will be published on Dec. 30. Please email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Dec. 27.

Mystery Photo #80: Rust-Parker and its neighbors

Lars Waldner posted this circa 1916 image to Facebook, tagging PDD. It’s kind of a bizarre angle on Duluth, and for some reason identifying buildings in the photo is exceptionally challenging. The only cheater we’re given is the big sign on the side of Rust-Parker Wholesale Grocery Company, which was at 217 S. Lake Ave.

Postcard from Tweed Gallery

This undated postcard image of the Tweed Museum of Art appears to be circa the 1970s. The text on the back reads:

Tweed Gallery

The only major art gallery in Northern Minnesota, Tweed Gallery on the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus has attracted more than 300,000 visitors since it opened in 1958. Funds for the gallery were donated by Mrs. Alice Tweed Tuohy, now of Santa Barbara, California and her daughter, Mrs. John Brickson, Duluth. Twenty shows each year feature international, national, faculty and student artists in four separate exhibition areas.

Superior mafia arrives in ’38 Packard or Johnny Cash in white tie

Surfin’ Superior 2008

Ten years ago — Dec. 10, 2008 — City Pages profiled Duluth surfer Greg Isaacson.

In 1975, he found himself paddling out onto Lake Superior with a few local fishermen looking at him like he was insane. Isaacson went out in the middle of a storm. He wore the top half of a diving suit, which gave his arms all the flexibility and natural movement of the Michelin Man. This jerry-rigged outfit, combined with the glacial temperatures of the water, allowed him just 20 minutes of water time.

But the first wave he caught was magic.

Duluth to Montgomery Reflections: Pondering the Past

Continuing the podcast series of “Duluth to Montgomery Reflections,” the Duluth NAACP welcomes Henry Banks, host of the Twin Ports-focused “People of Color” program on Wisconsin Public Radio. Banks meets with Ivy Vainio to discuss the various assumptions around the Civil Rights movement.

Mystery Photo #79: Piper & Johnson

This cabinet card photo is from the Piper & Johnson studio at 227 E. Superior St., Duluth. Today that location is where Greysolon Plaza, the former Hotel Duluth, sits. Since cabinet cards were popular at the end of the 19th Century, the Piper & Johnson studio must have been in a building that predates the Hotel Duluth, which opened in 1925.

Postcards from Duluth’s Radisson Hotel

When the Radisson Hotel was built at 505 W. Superior St. in 1970, it was Duluth’s first new hotel in 43 years. It would be difficult to count the number that were built in the next 43 years, but not impossible. Go ahead and try.