Postcards Posts

Aerial Bridge: Pull and Return Slowly

1908 Aerial Bridge

Aerial Bridge Over Ship Canal, Duluth, Minn.
Only one of its kind in the world; clear span, 400 ft.; clear height 136 ft.; total height above water 186 ft.; size of car 34×50 ft.; capacity of car, 125,000 lbs.; motive power, electricity; speed, 4 miles per hour.

Postcards from Duluth Central High School

Central High School 1

Among man-made icons in Duluth, the most venerable of the them all is Historic Old Central High School, which opened in 1892 at Lake Avenue and East Second Street.

Happy Thanksgiving from Bessie

Bessie Thanksgiving  Postcard 1908

Postcards from Chester Park

Scene in Duluth Chester Park

“Chester Park is popular both in summer and winter,” according to old postcard propaganda. “In it is located one of America’s highest ski jumps and also Chester Creek, one of several flowing thru the city in which trout may be caught. Duluth is the only city in the United States where trout fishing is possible within city limits.”

Well, we know the famous ski jumps came down in 2014, but there seems to be another fact in there worth examining. Was Duluth at one time really the only city with trout fishing? Prove it or debunk it, dear reader.

In the meantime, here are more snappy postcards …

“Duluth is a good town”

Duluth is a good town

This little gem is postmarked Sept. 18, 1905. Hopefully Ermina B. Smith of Menominee, Mich., believed it. It’s still true 110 years later.

Duluth Air Line: Taking in the sight in 1908

Duluth Air Line 1908

What in tarnation is going on here? Well, this postcard image is clearly a photo studio gag and not a snapshot of two handsome fellows in a hot air balloon over Duluth.

Postcards from the Arrowhead Bridge

New Arrowhead Bridge 1927b

Arrowhead Bridge in the 1940s

The Arrowhead Bridge connected West Duluth to Superior’s Billing’s Park neighborhood across the St. Louis River for 57 years. Built by the Arrowhead Bridge Co., it opened on March 15, 1927. The company charged a toll to cross the bridge until 1963, when Minnesota and Wisconsin state officials paid $200,000 to make it a toll-free public bridge.

The Arrowhead Bridge was dismantled in 1985 after the opening of the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge.

In case anyone is wondering how we do things around here …

How we do things at Duluth

Postcards from Duluth’s ore docks

Duluth, MN, Mammoth Ore Docks, Aeroplane View, c1920s

Duluth’s first ore dock was built in 1893, just east of 34th Avenue West. The Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway built several docks there for loading iron ore from the Iron Range for shipment to steel plants in the East. The first five docks were built of wood, which was gradually replaced by steel and concrete.

Postcards from Congdon Park

Congdon Bridge Postcard One Cent

Leaving Duluth: Feel free to write your own caption

Leaving Duluth postcard image circa 1910

“Leaving Duluth” postcard image from Arcade studio, roughly a century ago.

Balloon View of Duluth/Superior Harbor

Balloon View Harbor, River and Natural Breakwater; Duluth to Left, Superior to Right

This postcard, captioned “Balloon View Harbor, River and Natural Breakwater; Duluth to Left, Superior to Right” raises a few questions. Perhaps the most important one is, how did that tree on the left edge get so tall?

Postcards from Duluth’s Lester Park

Big Falls at Lester Park Brook Trout Fishing - Lester River

Mystery Photo #16: Holm’s Kaffe Stuga

Holm's Kaffe - Fond du Lac

This photo is labeled “Holm’s Kaffe Stuga, Fond du Lac, Duluth, Minn.” From that we can assume the Fond du Lac neighborhood had a Swedish coffee cottage at some time in history. When? Where? And who is this Holm character?

Duluth Mystery Photo #14: Ice Monument

The caption on this postcard reads: “Ice Formation on Fountain at Lakewood, Duluth, Minn.” There was a big fountain in Lakewood Township?

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