According to this very vague story from the November 1921 issue of Popular Mechanics, Duluth may have been at the forefront of developing community garages. What happened? One of the garages shown in the magazine still exists today in the Morgan Park neighborhood.
Felisha Johnson and her father-in-law, Paul Johnson
When Morgan Park School closed in 2012, the neighborhood seemed to be in decline. Two prominent businesses, Advantage Emblem and Park State Bank, had already moved out. The grocery store and post office were long gone. Nothing new seemed on the horizon.
Paul Johnson and his son Brandon, owners of the Lakeview Store Building, felt the area needed a gathering place. In 2014 they opened Iron Mug Coffee House in the building’s southern end at 1096 88th Ave W. July marks the two-year anniversary of Iron Mug’s opening, while the historic building that served as one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary.
There is a new coffee shop, deli and pizza place in Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood — and it also happens to be the only coffee shop or restaurant of any kind in that neighborhood.
Iron Mug opened on July 30 in the old Lakeview Store building, which was constructed in 1916 to serve as one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States. The building once housed a grocery store and post office, among other things. The largest major tenant in recent years was Advantage Emblem & Screen Printing, which was located in the building from about 1991 to 2008, before moving to the corner of Haines and Arrowhead roads, near the airport.
James W. Bothwell died on Jan. 13. He had a long career as a teacher and principal in St. Paul, but in 1986 he had a stint in Duluth as Morgan Park Junior High School’s interim principal, following the mid-school-year retirement of longtime principal Milan S. Karich and preceding the launch of Jon Vomachka’s reign.
I was in seventh grade and not much of an outlaw during Bothwell’s brief term, so I don’t have any good stories to relate, but I remember him seeming to be quite a nice guy. Does anyone have more specific memories to share?
I just found this slide show on YouTube. It’s amusing to me that the soundtrack is by Dokken. You might think that’s a poor choice, but I remember 20 years ago the only Duluth kids into Dokken were from Morgan Park, so it makes sense.
Also, tragically, the one sentence of text in the video contains multiple errors, but oh well.
If you’re looking for a pre- or post-Leif Erickson destination, or you’re looking for an alternate event for the day, bring the kids to the west side this Saturday between noon and 5 p.m. for Everybody Outside at Morgan Park.
A class group from UMD is putting this event on to offer outdoor recreation opportunities to kids from the whole Twin Ports area but kids in West Duluth specifically. We’ll have camping skills activities, birding by Lake Superior Zoo, disc golf, fishing skills with MinnAqua, skateboarding demos by Damage Boardshop, and slacklining and a bouldering wall to get kids active and outdoors. All activities are free and we’ll be having raffles and food concessions (with proceeds going to the Morgan Park Playground Fund). See you Saturday!
Minnesota has had a long history of firsts for shopping malls. It must be the long, cold winters keeping us on the forefront of the indoor shopping experience. Duluth’s Morgan Park Lake View Store being noted as one of the first indoor malls, Southdale Mall in Edina the first post-war enclosed mall and, of course, the Mall of America the United States’ largest and most visited mall in the world.
The Lake View Store in Morgan Park was built in 1915 and had two levels and a basement. There was a butcher shop, clothing, hardware, furniture, a pharmacy and a department store with groceries, and a general store. The top floor had a bank, dentist office, barber shop, hair salon, hat shop, billiard room and auditorium. The basement had an ice-making plant which made eight tons of ice per day for the mall and for Morgan Park residents and a shoe store. Wiki has more info.