R.I.P. Posts

Obituary of Peter S. Svenson, Minnesota’s Rogue Historian

August 23rd 1947-January 24th(?) 2022. The historian Peter Sven Svenson died without heirs sometime last week according to his autopsy. He will be buried in Forest Hills cemetery in Duluth after the spring thaw. Speaking as one of his only friends, I have penned this obituary.

A document hoarder, Svenson was practically the state’s analog back-up brain for decades, and its conscience.

He was a popular history professor at UMD from 1973-2002. However, he tussled with the university over the legitimacy of his sources. Then they disavowed his work altogether when issues arose about his statistical analyses. Under pressure, he took early retirement, but sued the university for defamation. He lost.

Svenson went on to self-publish books, monographs, and articles, but struggled to find a paying audience. His most important work was produced during this period. Being his friend enabled my access to his research and unpublished manuscripts.

Miller Hill Mall Perkins leads list of 2022 restaurant closings

The Miller Hill Mall Perkins closed in March after 37 years of service. The national chain still operates at two other Duluth sites. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

Restaurants come and go all the time but some seem like they will be around forever. The Miller Hill Mall Perkins is a perfect example. The naugahyde booths, chrome-plated tables, gigantic breakfast menu and sweet pies made each visit feel like the one before — like eating in a time machine that would never end.

But then it did end.

Duluth Central High School aerial demolition video

The former Duluth Central High School on the top of the hill was demolished at the end of November. The video above is by Doug Johnson.

Demolition of hilltop Central High School underway

Northern News Now reports demolition of the former Duluth Central High School on the top of the hill began this week. The 55-acre property was sold in August to Chester Creek View, a New York developer, for $8 million.

One more tribute to Low

Rick Beato on Low.

Farewell to Mimi Parker, from Slate

Slate senior editor Sam Adams on the life and death of Mimi Parker and the music of Low.

On Low, On Mimi

I was in a plane crash, and to help deal with the PTSD I’d go to the fitness center and ride stationary bikes for too long and listen to Emma Ruth Rundle too loud. Then I’d take a sauna. One day Al walks in, my musical hero, standing there in his towel. We talk about life, about struggle.

Mimi Parker of Low has died of ovarian cancer

Duluth News Tribune: “Mimi Parker, of Duluth band Low, dies of ovarian cancer
Pitchfork: “Low’s Mimi Parker has died
NPR: “Mimi Parker, vocalist and drummer of the minimalist rock band Low, has died
Rolling Stone: “Low’s Mimi Parker, whose otherworldly vocals helped define slowcore, dead at 55 after cancer battle
PDD Calendar: Mimi Park Vigil at Sacred Heart

So long, Country Lanes North

WDIO-TV reports that Country Lanes North, the bowling alley with outdoor volleyball courts at 2327 Mountain Shadow Drive near Miller Hill Mall, is closing and will be torn down. It was built in 1976.

Planet Fitness plans to open an exercise center there in 2023.

R.I.P. Esmond Building

The Duluth News Tribune reports the former Seaway Hotel, also known as the Esmond Building, was demolished on Wednesday. The building had been gutted by a fire on Jan. 10.

R.I.P. Herb Bergson

Herb Bergson, mayor of Duluth from 2004 to 2008, and mayor of Superior from 1987 to 1995, died Feb. 10 of sepsis, a complication from a cancer surgery. He was 65.

R.I.P. Louie Anderson, sitcom Duluthian

Comedian Louie Anderson died today at age 68. Part of his credentials in the entertainment industry is a CBS sitcom set in Duluth. Six episodes were produced; five were aired in 1996.

Two Superior warehouses destroyed by fire

Warehouses at 1507 and 1515 N. First St. in the North End of Superior were destroyed by fire this morning. The Blatnik Bridge was temporarily closed due to smoke from the blaze.

Among 2021 restaurant closures were two of Guy Fieri’s favorites

Television personality Guy Fieri poses outside Shorty’s Pizza and Smoked Meats with members of the restaurant’s staff. Fieri visited four restaurants in the Twin Ports area in 2014 — Shorty’s, Gannucci’s Italian Market, Pak’s Green Corner and the Kounty Quarthouse. All four have since closed.

The effect of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry is tricky to quantify, but in the Duluth area there is one noticeably positive trend. More new eateries are opening than existing ones are closing.

While the ongoing pandemic played a role in pushing some eateries that were in trouble over the edge, in most cases other factors were at play. At the top of the list of closings in 2021 were three family-owned ethnic restaurants.

R.I.P. Ben Boo

Former Duluth mayor and Minnesota representative Ben Boo died on Dec. 1 at age 96.

Boo was Duluth’s 35th mayor, holding office for two terms from 1967 to 1975. He served in the Minnesota House of Representative from 1984 to 1992. He also directed the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District and the Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission in between his political terms.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!