History Posts

Awesome Duluth Postcard Site

I’m sure this has been posted before on here, but this is a site I found a few years back. It’s a mind blowing collection of old Duluth postcards:


Moccasin Mike

I have a question — everyone knows to take Moccasin Mike Road to Wisconsin Point, but does anyone know who Moccasin Mike was? It is such a cool name. I’m jealous.

Willie the cop gets his badge pinned to his ass on Raleigh Street

One of the stories that has long been passed around West Duluth is that, many years ago, perhaps the 1920s, some guys from the ol’ Raleigh Street Gang handcuffed a cop to a pole or a post and pinned his badge to his ass.

What’s the date?

Masonic Fraternity

Does anyone know what 5894 A.L. stands for?

Bathing in Fairmount Park’s Boys’ Pool


This old postcard was sent 100 years ago today. Someone named Mabelle mailed it to Mrs. W. F. Smith of Minong, Wis. It was postmarked in Duluth, Minn., July 16, 1910, 3 p.m.

The Ojibwe Experience – Learning Opportunities

This week I had a chance to glimpse some of the immense cultural riches of the Ojibwe people who along with other Native American people have occupied this area for thousands of years. And you can check them out too, if you want.

Dream Job, 1910

I don’t know what he did, but it sounds like a nice gig.

Yesterday in History

Sorry for the belatedness, but I felt I had to acknowledge the 16th anniversary of the release of Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand, one of my favorite rock albums of all time. Pitchfork has it at #10 in the Top 100 Albums of the ’90s, a tad low if you ask me. I may be slightly obsessed with GBV, but I think this album has something for just about everyone. “I am a Scientist!”

Duke of Duluth?

Superior isn’t the only city that enjoys its suds. This photo was bought at an auction several years ago. On the frame, it is titled “Duke of Duluth.” I know it is not the Duke of Duluth I am thinking of. Notice the great detail of flies on the beer mug. Does anyone one have a clue as to who this guy was? The framed photo served as a traveling photo for a long list of jolly fellows. The name written on the cardboard backing is Gust. Munding, Rush City Minnesota. Was this part of a beer campaign?

Superior reeks with booze and filth

This headline and illustration are from the August 18, 1917 issue of the Duluth Rip Saw. The story is without a byline, but was no doubt written by the paper’s publisher, John L. Morrison.

Duluth’s Lingering Shame: Clayton, Jackson, McGhie Lynching

Below is the complete text of a story from the June 7, 2000 issue of Duluth’s Ripsaw newspaper.

Duluth’s Lingering Shame
Eighty years ago Duluthians carried out one of the most horrific acts this region has ever seen. How did it happen? Have we changed?
By Heidi Bakk-Hansen

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight

— From Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row”

On June 15, 1920, a mob of 10,000 lynched Isaac McGhie, Elias Clayton and Elmer Jackson at the corner of First Street and Second Avenue East in Duluth.

Speaking of the old Viking

Isn’t it about time for some kind of consensus on the proper rendering of the name?

Leif Ericson
Leif Erickson
Leif Ericsson
Leifr Eira­ksson
Leif Erikson
Leifur Eiricksson
Lsif Erickson

What is your favorite Anglicisation? I think we can settle on “Leif” for the first name. The patronym seems to most often be either “Erickson,” “Ericson,” or “Erikson.” Duluth needs a referendum on this.

A Different Kind of Duluth Pack

I read with interest the post about the Duluth Pack on eBay. Here is a photo of an unidentified pack. Maybe someone has some information on this one.

Select Images from Denfeld’s first Oracle

Before there was a school called Denfeld, high school classes in West Duluth were held at Irving School.

Historic Duluth Armory photos


Historic Duluth Armory featured Paul Metsa and Danny Fox, the 2008 winner of the Hibbing Dylan Days singer/songwriter contest for the May 30 open house.

Click for more photos