Postcards Posts

Jens Flaaten & the Minnesota National Guard 3rd Regt. Band

This postcard from the early 1900s has a pencil-written note on the back: “Jens Flaaten & the Minnesota band from Duluth.” As noted at zenithcity.com, Flaaten’s funeral was held 100 years ago today — Aug. 9, 1922. He died on Aug. 5 when he was struck by a motorist while crossing Superior Street at Fifth Avenue West.

Postcard from a Bird’s-eye View of Duluth in 1912

Postmarked July 27, 1912, this image shows Downtown Duluth from an Observation Hill vantage point. A different version of this postcard was posted on Perfect Duluth Day a bit more than a year ago, sparking some discussion about the vantagepoint of the image and the likelihood that it represents Duluth circa 1900. (In other words, the image likely represents a scene in Duluth from 12 years before the card was mailed.)

The card in this post is simply for the purpose of marking 110 years since it was sent and recognizing the oddly simplistic message written on the back.

Postcard from the Elevators on Rice’s Point

This undated postcard from the Rotograph Company is captioned “Elevators, Superior Harbor, Duluth, Minn.” and features a view of Rice’s Point and the Duluth/Superior Harbor.

According to an article on the Canada Lakes Conservation Association website, the Rotograph Company was based in New York City and was “a major publisher and printer of postcards from 1904-1911.”

Postcard from Priley Fountain and the Radisson Hotel

This 50-year-old postcard shows what was then the new Radisson Hotel behind the also new-at-the time Priley Fountain at the Duluth Civic Center. The message on the back of the card was written July 14, 1972, and the card is postmarked the next day.

Postcard from the Rex Hotel

This postcard was mailed 100 years ago today — July 7, 1922. The illustration presents an aggrandized version of the Rex Hotel, which later became the Curtis Hotel, then Milner Hotel, then Seaway Hotel, and then briefly the Esmond Building. It was actually a three-story building, not four like the postcard shows, and the ground floor wasn’t so ridiculously tall as to dwarf any people or automobiles in front of it.

Postcard from the Famous Aerial Lift Bridge in 1972

On a Monday evening 50 years ago, someone named Ruth Ellen sent this postcard to Dee Ann Faerber of Independence, Mo. “The trees are beautiful,” she wrote. “Rain is supposed to stop Tuesday.”

Postcard from Duluth & Northeastern Railroad Number #28

This undated postcard shows the Duluth and Northeastern Railroad #28 Steam Locomotive chugging along in Cloquet. The photo is by Walter R. Evans and the card was published by Mary Jayne’s Railroad Specialties.

Postcard from the Duluth Depot

The message on the back of this Union Depot postcard is dated June 8, 1912 — 110 years ago today. The names are tricky to read, but the sender signs off from Detroit, Mich. and the recipient was in Beaver Dam, Wis.

Postcard from Duluth’s Lincoln Park Pond

This 110-year-old postcard offers an illustrated view of the pond at Lincoln Park. The sender of this card, Anna Carlson, was kind enough to pencil her name on the front. The card is postmarked May 22, 1912 and the recipient is Mildred Wilkenson of Clare, Mich., courtesy of H. Hales.

Postcard from the Duluth-Superior Hi Bridge

Before the Blatnik Bridge was named for Congressman John A. Blatnik in 1971, it was called the Duluth-Superior Bridge and known colloquially as the “High Bridge,” but for some reason it shows up on a few postcards as the “Hi Bridge,” as if people were supposed to wave and say Minnesota-nice hellos as they crossed.

Postcard from the Hotel Duluth in 1942

This postcard was mailed 80 years ago today — May 12, 1942. The recipient was Constance Jarvis of Riverside, Calif. Ray Boyer sent it from Duluth.

Postcard from Duluth’s Grand Opera House

Duluth’s Grand Opera House at 333 W. Superior St. was designed by George Wirth and opened in 1883. It was destroyed by fire on Jan. 28, 1889.

Postcard from Fifth Avenue West and Superior Street

One of the more common postcard views of Duluth in the early 1900s was the scene looking east down Superior Street from Fifth Avenue West, showing off the Spalding Hotel (right) and Lyceum Theatre (left).

The Spalding was demolished in 1963, and the Lyceum came down in 1966. The Ordean building now stands in the Spalding location; the Maurices headquarters in the Lyceum spot.

Postcard from Arch Street in Cloquet, 1912

Sidney Dahl of St. Cloud was the recipient of this postcard mailed 110 years ago today — April 23, 1912. The sender’s name was Ingga.

Postcard from the Opening of Navigation Season

This undated postcard shows a freighter entering the Duluth Shipping Canal at some point in the early 1900s.

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