Roaring Twenties Posts

Sledding Duluth’s Avenues in 1921

One hundred years ago there were far fewer cars on Duluth’s streets, but it was still considered dangerous to sled down the city’s steep avenues. So Duluth Police Chief Warren E. Pugh surveyed the city and selected a few recommended avenues that posed “the least danger to life and limb,” according to the Duluth Herald of Nov. 22, 1921.

Albert Heyroth gets electricity out of air in 1921

West Duluth was the scene of windmill experiments a century ago, according to a story in the Oct. 31, 1921 Duluth Herald. Albert Herman Heyroth was hard at work at 55th Avenue West and Raleigh Street attempting to generate electricity for home energy use.

Duluth considers “trackless trolley” in 1921

One century ago the Duluth Street Railway Company — predecessor to the Duluth Transit Authority — was keeping a close eye on plans for adding trolley buses in Minneapolis. How long did it take for Duluth to get it’s first “trackless trolley”? Pretty much exactly ten more years.

According to Zenith City Online, Duluth’s first trolley buses ran on Oct. 4, 1931. The Duluth Herald reported about Duluth considering trolley buses in its Oct. 6, 1921 issue, one hundred years ago today.

Wally Gilbert joins Duluth football eleven in 1921

On Aug. 25, 1921 the Duluth Herald reported that former Denfeld and Valparaiso football standout Wally Gilbert had agreed to join the Duluth Knights of Columbus football team. The “K.C.” team, or “Kaysees,” turned out to be the region’s best pro football squad. Facing all Minnesota and Wisconsin teams at Athletic Park in Duluth, the team racked up a 9-0 record and outscored opponents 278-0 before dropping a playoff game in Illinois to the Rock Island Independents.

An Elaborate Contrivance for Suicide

One hundred years ago a delusional Superior man hung himself in his home in front of a wall painted with a crucifix. The June 19, 1921 suicide was reported in the Duluth Herald on June 20.

Woodland baseball team of 1921 had grand season

This photo from the May 21, 1921 Duluth Herald shows the baseball team from Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood, which compiled a 7-3 record — a “grand season” by Roaring Twenties standards. According to the photo caption, the team played indoor baseball in the Cobb School gymnasium.

The Assailants of John L. Morrison

One hundred years ago the assailants of Duluth Ripsaw newspaper publisher John L. Morrison appeared in court one week after attacking him in his office. The May 19, 1921 Duluth Herald provides an account of the incident.

St. Louis County Jail designs approved in 1921 … sort of

One hundred years ago today — May 11, 1921 — the Duluth Herald published a story about plans for a new St. Louis County Jail. The building that would eventually be constructed looks somewhat similar to the drawing here, but there were numerous changes to the plan.

Mayor Snively welcomes Blackfeet chiefs to Duluth in 1921

On May 4, 1921 — one hundred years ago today — newly elected Duluth Mayor Samuel Snively welcomed to the city five chiefs from the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana.

West Duluth kids rarely strayed from neighborhood in 1920s

An article in the Duluth Herald of April 28, 1921 — one hundred years ago today — calls attention to how western Duluth kids seldom ventured to the center of town, much less to the eastern side.

Curley the Trapper brings body of scurvy victim through Duluth

One hundred years ago today a Duluth native completed his mission to recover the body of a former Duluth man who died of scurvy deep in the woods of Manitoba.

Last Rites of John Defoe

One hundred years ago today the Duluth Herald reported on military honors given to John Defoe, who the paper credits as “the first American Indian who fell in the World war to be returned to his native land for burial.”

Duluth’s longest mayoral term started in 1921

On April 5, 1921 — one hundred years ago today — Samuel Frisby Snively was elected mayor of Duluth. He held the office for four terms spanning 16 years. Duluth has had two three-term mayors who served for 12 years, John Fedo and Gary Doty.

Commercial Cafe opens under new management in 1921

This advertisement in the March 29, 1921 Duluth Herald promotes the reopening of the Commercial Cafe at 10 N. 20th Ave. W. in what is now Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The location is probably where DLH Clothing is operating a retail store today, although all businesses in that building use the address 12 N. 20th Ave. W.

Then and Now: Looking Down 43rd Avenue West

The top half of the graphic above is from a real estate advertisement in the Oct. 22, 1920 edition of the Duluth Herald, promoting lots on 43rd Avenue West near Eighth Street in West Duluth. The bottom half is an attempt to capture the modern perspective via Google Maps. In the modern view, trees block three of the four homes shown in the 1920 view, but one of them can been seen and the other three, though not in view, are still standing.

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