Ingeborg von Agassiz – “Sun Beats Down”

New video by Duluth artist Ingeborg von Agassiz. Her album release and art show will be held March 15 at the Red Herring Lounge.

Mystery Photo #63: Quite a Hat

Who is this lady and what is her deal? Well, we know this is a postcard photo shot at either the Penny Arcade in Duluth or the Post Card Shop in Minneapolis. We know her hat is awesome, but aren’t really sure if there is a significance to the combination of a big hat, giant bow tie and candlestick telephone.

Movies could soon return to West Duluth

This graphic from Meyer Group Architecture shows the vision for restoring the West Theater. Image via Robert Boone.

Movies could be returning to West Duluth for the first time in 40 years. Restoration of the former West Theater at 319 Central Ave. is poised to commence according to building owner Robert Boone.

It’s really Duluth out there

This clip features a Duluth reference from the 11th season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, released in 2017. It’s from episode 199, which features the 1987 movie Cry Wilderness.


The house was built before the end of World War I, finished room by room by my great grandfather after a hard day’s work at Kurth Malting in Milwaukee, where I grew up.

When was a child at the kitchen table doing homework in the 1980s, the house still wasn’t finished. The porch was sinking into the earth, and every spring I climbed beneath to crank the jack that lifted the sagging southwest corner.

There were no handrails on the steep staircase from the first floor to the basement or winding alongside the stairs from the first floor to the attic. Maybe handrails were luxuries they could not afford, or maybe handrails never crossed his mind, the way that he died without ever wearing a seatbelt.

Every day his wife, my great-grandmother, fetched a can of veggies from the root cellar for dinner. Tinned vegetables did not require the cool air of the basement to stay fresh, but old habits died hard. Cans of beets and corn and beans were still stored downstairs.

Video Archive: Madeline Island Ice Road Adventures

Shot by Tomasz Majewski on March 1, 2008. First appeared on PDD March 4, 2008.

Selective Focus: #perfectduluthday

This week, another selection of Instagram photos marked with #perfectduluthday.

Emily Haavik & the 35s – “Candle” and “Good Heart”

A pair of music videos by Duluth band Emily Haavik & the 35s. Above is “Candle,” recorded at Scratch Studios in Duluth on Jan. 12. Video by Michelle Truax with help from Sarah Feyder. Audio by Aaron Boothe.

Duluth Trivia Deck, March 1 Edition

Below are more questions from a Duluth Trivia Deck I found at Savers. I’m not using all the questions in this deck in my series of posts, by the way. Some are clearly dated., e.g. “How many banks are in Duluth?” The answer will no longer be accurate. Also, some are clearly designed to promote a business.

1. How long is the Blatnik Bridge?

2. Who was John A. Blatnik?

3. The actor Tom Price portrayed a popular role in 1985 in Duluth. What part did he play?

4.  How many branch libraries are there in Duluth — at the time this card deck was produced?

5.  Due to a power failure, who was stuck in the Holiday Center glass elevator for one-half hour on October 23, 1985?

6.  Name the person who has been mayor of Duluth, director of the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, and in the state legislature?

7.  What Duluth mayor came to prominence over a confrontation with a gasoline distribution company?

8.  What was the first name of the Duluth Junior League organization?

Mystery Photos #61 and #62: Posing with Car

Not much is known about these two photos, other than that the car has Minnesota plates that appear to show the year 1925 or 1935. Is this a scene from Duluth? Is it possible to pin this photo on any map? Obviously bonus points for identifying people in the photo.

Don’t be fooled by how the building at right appears to look a little bit like the Chromaline/Ikonics building in West Duluth. It is not.

Writer Reads … in Ashland and on the Radio

Duluth authors Avesa Rockwell, Lucie Amundsen and other Duluthians I don’t know all read in the annual “Writer’s Read” event at Northland College on Jan. 26.

Avesa’s memoir, Children of the Earth, was selected by judges for its relevance to this year’s theme of “gut instinct.” Her story describes a disturbing incident from her adolescence in New Mexico and the tension between acquiring wisdom and maintaining innocence.

A polka break … because we all need it

Put your troubles on hold and enjoy the 1983 album Polka with the Duluth Accordionaires. Side A above, side B below.

Don’t thank him; just write

If you fling a certain line at Air Force veteran Eric Chandler, expect a pleasant smile masking irritation. He might nod in recognition. And if that’s all you got, the conversation is over.

“Thank you for your service.”

“Who are you thanking?” he asked earlier this year when talking about the growing gap of understanding of the U.S. military experience with that of civilians.

“We’re all complicit,” Chandler says with a serious tone. He could go on for hours on this topic, he says. There’s a deal made in a constitutional republic: Citizens ask for protection with a standing army and some answer the call by enlisting. But it’s not a service contract, Chandler says. “It’s not like the cable guy.”

“It should feel more invested” all around, Chandler says. “Thank you for your service” rings as hollow as any other jingoistic notion of the military’s role in American society. When people don’t know what it is you do or have done, platitudes mean nothing, he says. People are less interested in “who is in the military” over just passing along jingoistic notions of it, he says.

Some Duluth Jobbers (Curlers) History

This handsome photo of the 1913 curling club off London Road comes from the Duluth Commercial Club annual report from 1918.

Yeah, we didn’t get our paper this morning either. What to read? (I like to pretend the internet doesn’t exist on snow days.) So as we bask in curling gold from South Korea, enjoy a little history of one of Duluth’s most ancient organized sports.

PDD Quiz: February 2018 in Review

Go for the gold with this month’s PDD Quiz and test your knowledge of local current events.

The next PDD quiz, on extreme weather, will be published on March 11. Email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by March 8.