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Mystery Photos Posts

Mystery Photo #93: A Hard Day

With some Mystery Photos, we know a lot going in. With this one, we know very little. Who is this little girl and why was this photo shot on such a hard day?

Mystery Photo #92: Minnesota Slip Drawbridge

This old slide image shows a cabin cruiser passing under the Minnesota Slip Drawbridge, a pedestrian bridge spanning the Minnesota Slip on the Duluth waterfront. When was this photo taken?

Mystery Photo #91: Duluth Grocers

This old photo shows two men standing in a grocery store. The back of the photo indicates it’s in Duluth, Minn. and gives the names of the men. Unfortunately, the photo of the back side of this photo is blurry and difficult to read, but it looks like Gust Hjelm is one of the names.

Mystery Photo #90: Duluth Photo Engraving Company

This old photo is from the Duluth Photo Engraving Company. Is that stage recognizable? Is this the cast of a play? What’s the deal with this image?

Mystery Photos #88-89: Hardware Store Women

I recently came across two photos of a couple strong Duluth women in an unidentified Duluth hardware store on Minnesota Reflections. There is no accurate date or known specific location (there is a guesstimate year span on this one of 1918-1925, which seems quite unlikely due to their stylish high-collar/big sleeve clothing). Who were they? What year was this? And would they tolerate any nonsense? Unlikely.

Mystery Photos #85-87: Probably Skyline Parkway in the 1920s

An early 20th Century family photo album was recently unearthed in the Nicklawske archive room and I discovered some old Duluth photographs. I pulled three pictures from the book that included images of an automobile trip my grandfather and his sister made to Duluth in the 1920s. My grandfather, Jim Nicklawske, lived in St. Paul at the time and his sister Mae was visiting from her home in Great Falls, Mont. It appears they traveled to Duluth with a third, unidentified person who made pictures of the event.

Mystery Photo #84: Building near Duluth Arena

Sitting awkwardly between the Duluth Arena and the Radisson Hotel in this photo by Perry Gallagher is a seven-story building that can’t be far from demolition. What was it?

Mystery Photo# 83: Stokes or Dalgarno Family?

This mystery photo is another cabinet card from Duluth’s Zweifel Studio (as are #41, #81 and #82). Ann Ramage‎ posted the image on Facebook, tagging Perfect Duluth Day with this message:

‘Turnip’ Found! Oh, I mean to say a family mystery photo. Perhaps Stokes family from Petrolia, Ontario, Canada — Gordon and/or Dalgarno family from Tenney, Minn? Not dated. Any feedback most appreciated!

Mystery Photo #82: Miss Edna May Boyle

Here she is, Edna May Boyle, 120 years ago. Who was she? Why did she get her photo shot on Christmas Day 1898? Well, if we knew that it wouldn’t be a mystery photo, would it?

Mystery Photo #81: Markus Family, Christmas 1893

Some mystery photos are less mysterious than others. Often cabinet card photos have nothing written on the back, but this particular card comes with info suggesting the subjects are William Frederick Markus and his family. The photo was likely shot 125 years ago, around Christmas of 1893.

Mystery Photo #80: Rust-Parker and its neighbors

Lars Waldner posted this circa 1916 image to Facebook, tagging PDD. It’s kind of a bizarre angle on Duluth, and for some reason identifying buildings in the photo is exceptionally challenging. The only cheater we’re given is the big sign on the side of Rust-Parker Wholesale Grocery Company, which was at 217 S. Lake Ave.

Mystery Photo #79: Piper & Johnson

This cabinet card photo is from the Piper & Johnson studio at 227 E. Superior St., Duluth. Today that location is where Greysolon Plaza, the former Hotel Duluth, sits. Since cabinet cards were popular at the end of the 19th Century, the Piper & Johnson studio must have been in a building that predates the Hotel Duluth, which opened in 1925.

Mystery Photo #78: Trio by the Transfer Bridge

It’s not known who shot this photo or the names of the people posing in it, but based on the woman’s flapper outfit and the fact that the Aerial Bridge in the background isn’t a lift bridge yet, it must be circa the 1920s. Can anyone find other clues?

Mystery Photo #77: Passenger Boat arriving in Duluth

Date unknown. Photographer unknown. Name of vessel unknown.

Ready? Set? Go!

Mystery Photo #76: 400 block of West Superior Street

The above photo, submitted by Jay Sonnenburg, shows businesses on the 400 block of West Superior Street. At right is the WEBC Radio studio. At left are the Fargusson Building, Manhattan Building and Spalding Hotel.