Postcards Posts

Mystery Photo #33: Champions 1913

Girls Champions 1913 by Louis Dworshak 1911

Who are these girls? What basketball team were they on? Why were they in a photo shot in 1911 on a postcard mailed in 1911 with “Champions 1913” written on the ball?

What we do know, based on the signature on the image, is the photo was taken by Duluth photographer Louis Dworshak, owner of the Dworshak Studio at 8 N. Second Ave. W.

Postcards from the Sky Room Restaurant at Buena Vista Motel

Sky Room at Buena Vista

A panorama view from high atop Skyline Drive overlooking Duluth. The Buena Vista Motel and its lounge and restaurant opened in 1962. Mr. & Mrs. Jerome J. LaPlante were the original owners. Bob Magie, Bob Nylen and Jerry Strum bought it in 1986 and oversaw a remodel in 1995. They operated the business for nearly 20 years before selling in 2005 to developer Tim Wiklund, who demolished the structure to create the 45-unit Superior Vista condominium complex.

The final image here is a postcard published by Gallagher’s Studio of Photography. The description on the back reads:

Vista Room Restaurant and Buena Vista Motel
Duluth, Minnesota 55811
Central Entrance & Skyline Drive across from the new First Methodist Church.
Panoramic view of City – Lake Superior and Harbor.
Scandinavian Imports.
Phone (218) 722-7796

Postcards from the many beauty spots on the St. Louis River

One of the many beauty spots on St. Louis River between Duluth-Superior Harbor and Fond du Lac

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeAs the One River, Many Stories project draws to a close, PDD presents the remaining St. Louis River postcards from the dusty digital archive. See the recommended links at the end of this post to check out more St. Louis River postcards.

Postcards from the Swinging Bridge at Jay Cooke State Park

Swinging Bridge Over St Louis River

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThe text on the back of old-school Swinging Bridge postcards tends to read the same no matter what the image: “This unique Swing Bridge spans the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park, 4,000 acres of rugged picturesque beauty along the rapids of the St. Louis River, extending from Carlton, Minn., to Fond du Lac, a suburb of Duluth.”

St. Louis River at Hudson’s Bay Company

St Louis River at Hudson Trading 1907

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThis postcard, sent from Hibbing on Sept. 9, 1907, to Miss Hanna Backman of Ironwood, Mich., depicts, a “scene on the St. Louis River” in Duluth’s Fond du Lac neighborhood, “where the Hudson Bay Co. established a trading post about the year 1640.”

The Hudson’s Bay Company in general, however, wasn’t founded until 1670, so, as usual, take postcard caption information for what it is worth.

American Fur Trading Post at Fond du Lac, 1826

American Fur Trading Post at Fond du Lac 1826

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThis 1950’s-era postcard depicts American Fur Company’s trading post at Fond du Lac, now a neighborhood of Duluth. German-born John Jacob Astor founded the company over 200 years ago — precisely April 8, 1808. His post on the St. Louis River sought to capitalize on Ojibwe fur trappers in the area, but the Ojibwe preferred to trade with the French and British, so the venture was a bust in the beginning. After the War of 1812, the United States passed a law excluding foreign traders from operating on U.S. territory, which freed the American Fur Company from its biggest competitors. By 1830, Astor’s company dominated the U.S. fur trade.

Duluth/Superior Interstate Bridge: “We are all well”

We Are All Well 1906 Duluth Postcard

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThis card traveled from Buffalo N.Y. to Mrs. W.J. Morrison of Lindsay, Ont. in 1906.

The Interstate Bridge opened in 1897. At the time it was pretty much the only way to get back and forth between Duluth and Superior — other than by boat or swimming, or going the long way around by land, or maybe jumping a train across the Grassy Point Railroad Bridge.

In 1906, the steamer Troy knocked the draw span of the Interstate Bridge into St. Louis Bay. Ferry service connected the cities for two years until repairs were completed.

Steamer Columbia on St. Louis River near Fond du Lac

StLouisRiverSteamerColumbiaNearFondduLac

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThis postcard, mailed in July 1914, depicts the steel excursion steamer Columbia cruising the St. Louis River. The best synopsis of the ol’ picnic cruise experience of yesteryear is perhaps the one on the back of the card, where “Aunt Carrie” writes to Miss Virginia Stanbridge of Westminster, Mass. If the message and penmanship seem a little too perfect, take a closer look. It’s a fill-in-the-blank card.

We have arrived in Duluth and our hats are impeccable

Duluth Hat Family Postcard

Would anyone like to take a stab at translating the message on the back of this postcard? It was mailed from Duluth to Miss Lillian Carlson of Minneapolis at some point during the era of one-cent postcard postage and fancy hats. The postmark date is not readable.

Vilkome to our city of Duluth

Vilkome to our city of Duluth postcard

Postcard from the Hill Top

Duluth from the Hilltop 1923

Mailed in 1923, six years before the Aerial Transfer Bridge became the Aerial Lift Bridge, this postcard depicts the old days when a gondola car carried passengers, streetcars and wagons over the canal. Numerous buildings in this postcard are long gone.

Duluth 1910

Duluth 1910

Two Harbors: “Everything is so interesting.”

Two Harbors Minn

It looks like the postmark on this card to Emily Jackson of Albert Lea might be from the year 1909. The day is clearly July 26.

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.

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