Fairmount Park Posts

Postcard from a Scene in Fairmount Park

This postcard depicts a scene in Fairmount Park where Kingsbury Creek flows under the Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway bridge in West Duluth. It’s not clear if the postcard predates the 1923 opening of the Duluth Zoo, now the Lake Superior Zoo, just downstream of the location shown. The bridge is still there, now part of the DWP multi-use trail.

Kingsbury Creek has a new bridge, snowmobile trail restored

The bridge over Kingsbury Creek in West Duluth that was washed away in the Historic Summer Solstice Flood Disaster of 2012 has been replaced. The snowmobile route that runs across the bridge and snakes through the hillside south of Interstate 35, roughly from Keane Creek to Knowlton Creek, has also been restored after years of neglect. The lost ridgeline snowmobile route is part of the St. Louis River Corridor snowmobile trail system and links to the Hermantown trail system.

Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division and the Hermantown Night Riders are hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the bridge on Dec. 17.

Classic photos of Lake Superior Zoo and Kingsbury Creek

The Duluth Zoo’s white stucco restroom facilities circa 1923. Photo by Hugh McKenzie.

Duluth’s municipal zoo opened in 1923 after the city council gave a small piece of land to print-shop owner Bert Onsgard and hired him as zookeeper. He was paid $1 per year for tending to a white-tailed deer and a few native birds. The zoo would eventually expand to cover 16 acres of land surrounding Kingsbury Creek in Fairmount Park, and hold hundreds of animals from around the world.

Postcard from Fairmount Park in 1948

This postcard of Duluth’s “municipal zoo,” now known as Lake Superior Zoo, was mailed 70 years ago today — Sept. 8, 1948.

Updated concept plan for Lake Superior Zoo

Click the image to view a PDF of the full plan.

Click the image to view a PDF of the full plan.

The latest concept plan for improvements to Fairmount Park and the Lake Superior Zoo was presented by a consultant last night at the Duluth Parks Commission meeting. The concept envisions a renewed zoo in a roughly 10-acre footprint that includes ADA accessible pathways, renewed and repurposed exhibits damaged by the 2012 flood, enhanced visitor services, and converts a portion of the existing zoo into public park space. The plan is estimated at $15 million and has $2.7 million of half-and-half funding allotted to it.

Comments can be submitted to Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division until Feb. 15 to allow the consultants to analyze them for the upcoming Feb. 22 presentation and public hearing at 5:15 p.m. in the Duluth City Council Chambers, to be followed by a Parks Commission public hearing in room 303.

Bathing in Fairmount Park’s Boys’ Pool

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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.

Thornton’s Kiddieland: Amusement at Lake Superior Zoo

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The Lake Superior Zoo used to have a big slide, among other toys for the kiddies. I took a ride on it in the late 1970s with my big sister, as seen in this photo.

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