Banks and Financial Institutions Posts

Duluth Once Upon a Time: The Northern National Bank

Duluth Savings Bank was established on Oct. 30, 1902 — 120 years ago today — and took the name Northern National Bank in 1909, a year before the Alworth Building, Duluth’s tallest commercial high-rise, was built. Northern National Bank occupied the main floor of the Alworth. The card above jokes that 40 years before the Alworth a two-story structure on West Superior Street was “Duluth’s First Skyscraper.”

Bank building in Lincoln Park begins its second century

When Duluth National Bank held the grand opening event for its new building on Sept. 16, 1922, newspapers touted it as “a triumph of artistic design and architecture,” and “a model and a monument to the craftsmen who planned and built it.” A century later, the structure in many ways remains in grand condition, but without a defining tenant. Titanium Partners, the building’s new owner, hopes to change that.

Postcard from City Loan Company of Duluth

This 90-year-old postcard, published by Curt Teich & Co. of Chicago, promotes the City Loan Company in Duluth’s Providence Building. The card is postmarked March 16, 1932. Jesse Leach of 612 N. 57th Ave. W. was the recipient.

The Providence Building opened in 1895 at 332 W. Superior St. and remains there today.

National Bank Notes of Duluth

There are still a few national currency bank notes with Duluth bank names floating around, mostly held by collectors. This type of currency was eliminated in the 1930s. The note above is from Northern National Bank of Duluth and was issued in 1908. In the portrait is U.S. Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch, who also named the streets in Duluth’s Lakeside neighborhood, including one after himself. (More on McCulloch in the comments.)

Undesirable customers in Duluth

This postcard hit the mail 110 years ago today, sent by Hazel Britts to Capt. Luther Haleto of Provincetown, Cape Cod, Mass. The card is hand-dated June 27 and postmarked June 28, 1907. The illustration shows a banker closing his doors to “undesirable customers,” two black bear.

Duluth helps Uncle Sam kick the Kaiser off the map

Kicking the Kaiser off the map

This photo was shot about a century ago, outside the American Exchange National Bank at 230 W. Superior St. in Duluth — where Wells Fargo Bank has its main Duluth branch today.

Duluth National Bank


Duluth National Bank, now the West End branch of U.S. Bank, was the subject of a “Where in Duluth?” post a month ago, focusing on its burglar alarm. Note that today’s burglar alarm is apparently not the original. It’s rounded at the top, while the one above is flat at the top.

The photo above appears to be circa 1922, which is when the building was built. The bank was founded in 1910, but was located across the avenue from this location.