Chester Park Posts

Rink Relief: Episode 1

Video by Rawlin Kessler shot at Rip Williams Memorial Rink at Chester Park.

Postcards from Chester Park

Scene in Duluth Chester Park

“Chester Park is popular both in summer and winter,” according to old postcard propaganda. “In it is located one of America’s highest ski jumps and also Chester Creek, one of several flowing thru the city in which trout may be caught. Duluth is the only city in the United States where trout fishing is possible within city limits.”

Well, we know the famous ski jumps came down in 2014, but there seems to be another fact in there worth examining. Was Duluth at one time really the only city with trout fishing? Prove it or debunk it, dear reader.

In the meantime, here are more snappy postcards …

Chester Bowl Park Downhill Ski “Fun Slope”

Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division is preparing Chester Bowl Park for a new “fun slope,” according to a news release issued today.

Crews will be out clearing out a section of the hill within the ski area in preparation for the upcoming winter season. The new “fun slope” with gentle waves of snowy berms for skiing was identified as a desired addition to the park in the Chester Park Mini-Master Plan, approved in November 2014.

Crews will be working this week into next during daytime hours, but the public should not experience any interruption in their use of the park spaces or trails. The area will be covered with wood chips to reduce erosion and smooth out the area winter operations.

Chester Bowl Freestyle Cadet’s-eye View

Last year, Chester Bowl added “Freestyle Cadet” to the list of active groups at the ski hill. These kids build and groom the jumps, rails and other stuff located toward the top of the hill. For those who don’t get to the top of the hill, here’s a cadet’s-eye view from James Holak.


A few fundamental questions on the on the Chester Ski Jump Memorial Plan City of Duluth RFP.

Is not art, true art — spoken, written, painted, sung, or mixed media — an expression of that which comes from places that are intangible or elusive? i.e.: from within, a collaborative, the Netherlands, the proverbial Vibe?

Yes, the history of a place, lived out by a people is vital — I get that (and the real magic still is to have been there and lived it out) — however, most of us probably don’t have that benefit.

But a request put out on an RFP – a bid – along with city hall upgrades and roofing repairs not only diminishes the call, but is the antithesis of artistic inspiration. Just my opining.

Goodbye Little and Big Chester

Little Chester demolition - MPR photo

MPR: Ski jumps that launched Olympians come tumbling down

Beating it under the Ninth Street Bridge


Above is a photo from the old Ripsaw magazine showing the famous “Beat it” tag underneath the Ninth Street Bridge over Chester Creek. The tag is dated Oct. 1, 1992, and was reportedly painted over when the bridge was renovated in 2003.

Below is the updated tag, as it appears today. I don’t know how long it’s been there like this.

Beat it ... slap

The age-old question is: How did you do that? You are the one who did it, right? Why is the new tag backward?

Goodbye Big Chester

The city of Duluth has determined that the ski jumps at Chester Bowl will be coming down due to safety concerns. A public meeting will be held July 31.

Chester Park Graffiti?

Has anyone else seen the recent graffiti at the bottom of Chester Park. WDIO had a short feature on it. They “tagged” in the park and the neighborhood including houses and vehicles.

And what does 2.7.5. refer to? Searching the interwebs the top hit is the Twitter handle for @ink2flasyy the 21-year old Ontario man who flipped his car after tweeting about driving drunk. Google also tells me that it could refer to Blackland Raider Klan, an underground rap group started by SpaceGhostPurrp, down in Miami. That or they are big fans of the Python 2.7.5. release. Either way it isn’t cool once you start defacing neighborhoods.

I’ve never had an issue with some of Duluth graffiti havens but the side of an F-150 is not the same as the Graffiti Graveyard.

Mystery Photo #1: Chester Bowl

This photo was purportedly shot at Chester Bowl in 1936. Who are these gals? What were they doing that day? Who shot the photo?

Upper Chester: Not so fast there people!

Duluth took a beating this past year. But thanks to everyone pulling together we’ve made a remarkable comeback. For proof, you don’t have to look any further than Chester Park. Thanks to the indefatigable Dan Proctor and others the Lower Chester trails are probably in better shape than they were before the floods of June, and that’s saying a lot considering the scope of the mudflows and washouts that ravaged pretty much every inch of the ravine.

Upper Chester, however, is another story. Despite good intentions, there’s been a lot of jumping the gun to clean up or improve things that one could make the argument has ended up doing more harm than good. I’m not going to run down the list, but the latest chapter seems to have taken place largely under the radar, and I think it deserves a public airing.

Chester Bowl Snowboarding

Chester Bowl open for skiing

Chester Bowl Park is open for its 2011 downhill skiing season. Daily lift tickets for all ages are $5.25. Details at

Chester Bowl Historical Photos

So, the brouhaha over the ski jumps reminded me about this project – some historical photos from Chester Bowl.

Chester Bowl ski-jump dismantling?

Taking my early morning walk, I saw bulldozers taking down at least part of the ski jumps at Chester Bowl Park. My first thought was, “Oh no!” — I love that Duluth sorta thumbs its nose at risk-management concerns.

Does anyone have the skinny???

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