What that scribbled message on the front of this postcard is all about will have to be left to speculation in the comments. The card was mailed 110 years ago — May 4, 1909.
According to this postcard, Duluth Motel sat in some mysterious forest, perhaps offering the only toilet available for miles and miles. In reality, “Northwest’s Most Luxurious Motel” was near Denfeld High School and surrounded by West Duluth homes and businesses. A lush, undeveloped hillside was indeed in the distance, though not very similar looking to the illustration on the postcard.
Frank Hoolihan sent this postcard to Mrs. Galivan in Buffalo, NY imploring her to tell Sarah not to let anyone know that he’s in Duluth. He doesn’t want his mom to find out. I suspect he sailed up the Great Lakes to Duluth to get away for some reason. Or maybe he was just on a lark. It does raise a few questions. I can’t make out the year in the postmark but I’m guessing around 1909 or so.
This undated postcard shows Duluth Fire Department Engine House #1 at 101 E. Third St., one of the first fire houses in the city of Duluth. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.
This undated postcard, published by Gopher News Co. of Minneapolis, has the following text on the backside:
A novel attraction is the incline railway at 7th Ave. West and Superior Street. These cable cars connect the downtown section with Duluth Heights. In eight city blocks rise to an elevation 500 feet above lake level from where unusual views of Duluth, Lake Superior, Minnesota Point, and the Duluth Superior Harbor are obtainable.
The incline operated until 1939. More info and similar images can be found on the PDD post “Postcards from Duluth’s Incline Railway.”
This statue of Neptune stood on the edge of Duluth’s shipping canal from 1959 to 1963. The text on the back of the postcard reads:
Neptune — Symbolic Ruler of the Sea
This statue was given Duluth by the State Fair Board and the land loaned by the Corps of Engineers at Canal Park, Duluth, Minn. to commemorate the arrival of the first deep draft ocean going vessel in to Duluth on May 3, 1959. Neptune was God of the Sea — son of Cronus and Rhea. The Greeks called him Poseidon. He was Jupiter’s brother. Neptune controlled all the waters of the earth and was worshiped by sailors. The 3 prong spear he carried was called Trident.
This undated postcard shows off one of Duluth’s best-remembered restaurants, the Flame, which operated off-and-on at multiple locations in various forms from the 1930s to the 1980s. At the time of the postcard above, the Flame was at 353 S. Fifth Ave. W., where the Great Lakes Aquarium is today.
U.S. Steel’s Duluth Works plant in Morgan Park had more than 50 buildings when production began in 1915. This undated postcard highlights the machine shop and power house.
Before the Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel was built in the early 1990s, Highway 61 wound around the edge of the cliff. Drivers relied on skill and luck to avoid tumbling boulders or anything that might send them plunging over the edge into Lake Superior. The Gitchi-Gami State Trail was later built following the old Highway 61 path.