The steamer Crescent City was driven into rocks on the shore of Lake Superior northeast of Duluth 115 years ago today — Nov. 28, 1905. It was one of numerous wrecks during a storm that was most famous for sinking the Mataafa near the Duluth Ship Canal. Nine of 24 Mataafa crew members perished; everyone on Crescent City survived.
The message penned on the front of this postcard is dated 115 years ago today — Nov. 24, 1905. Someone named Ernest is apparently writing from Michigan and has been to Montana, where the falls might have impressed him more than the ones in Duluth.
Better mail your letter for Thursday on Monday, to make sure. Some day I want you to see Red Rock Falls, when the water is high.
This undated postcard image from the Gallagher Studio of Photography shows the St. Louis County Courthouse and Duluth City Hall behind the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the Duluth Civic Center. The card is perhaps a bit older than another postcard of the Civic Center featured on Perfect Duluth Day, which shows a more expansive garden.
This undated postcard (probably circa 1905) shows the excursion steamer Newsboy docked on the St. Louis River in Duluth’s Fond du Lac neighborhood. The card was published by the Hugh C. Leighton Company of Portland, Maine, and is brought to you compliments of Clow-Nicholson Transportation Company, with its main office at the foot of Fifth Avenue West.
This wholesome little scene is circa a century ago. The postmark on the back appears to be Oct. 31, 1915, though the year is not easy to make out. The card was sent to Miss Gertrude Fischer of Chicago.
Postcard images of the St. Louis Hotel probably don’t do justice to its original splendor. The first of its two buildings went up in 1882 and was considered Duluth’s finest hotel. It was destroyed by fire on the morning of Jan. 13, 1893 and was replaced in 1895 by the Providence Building, which still stands at 332 W. Superior St.
The building shown in the postcard above was originally the Brighton Hotel, built next to the St. Louis in 1887. After the original St. Louis went up in smoke, the Brighton became the new St. Louis Hotel. The building was demolished in the early 1930s and replaced by the Medical Arts Building, which remains today at 324 W. Superior St.
The back of this postcard photo indicates it was shot at the Owl Studio, 10 E. Superior. St., next to Duluth’s Empress Theatre. It’s the same address as the Wide Awake Studio, which was featured in a previous Mystery Photo.
This undated postcard features an image of the lighthouse on the Minnesota Point side of the Duluth Ship Canal. The card must be from the first half of the 20th Century, because the postage rate noted on the back is one cent and the U.S. postcard rate switched to two cents in 1952. The lighthouse was first lit in 1901 and remains there today. It was sold at auction in 2008 to Steven Sola and Matt Kampf, but the U.S. Coast Guard continues to maintain it.
This postcard from the V.O. Hammon Publishing Company features an image copyrighted in 1904 by Crandall & Maher (presumably Robert S. Crandall and James Maher). The card was mailed out of Duluth on Sept. 29, 1905 and arrived in Ohio on Oct. 2. It was sent to Miss Emily Booher of Mt. Gilead. The sender’s name is not on the card but the message scrawled on the front reads:
“It was midnight on the ocean and a storm was on the lake.” Remember.
This undated postcard of Downtown Duluth shows off three buildings that were somewhat new at the time of the photo. In the foreground is the Gateway Tower apartment building at 600 W. Superior St., built in 1972. Shown most prominently at left is the Radisson Hotel at 505 W. Superior St., built in 1970. The Ordean Building, at 424 W. Superior St., was built in 1973.
The Duluth Auditorium — now known as the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center‘s Symphony Hall — opened in 1966. It has hosted an extensive variety of musicians, comedians, theatrical companies and other entertainers over the years and is the home stage of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Ballet. Seating capacity is 2,221.
This postcard was mailed 70 years ago. The date on the postmark is not clear, but it looks like July 8, 1950. The signature of the sender is also not entirely clear, but it appears to be Helen Lold. The recipient is Henry Maursey of Midland, Mich.