Take a step back in time and view some of the friendly faces at West Duluth’s Gopher Lounge during the mid 1990s. Some of these folks are long departed; others still prowl the area of Ramsey Street and Central Avenue in search of porcupine meatballs.
It was probably midwinter when I decided on starting a blog. But as with most things, I hadn’t felt enough motivational surge to pull the trigger and actually do it. With the coming of spring I finally found the well and pumped myself up for back-to-back mornings at two of my favorite hometown hangouts. On the hunt for good vibes, yummy breakfast food, the world wide web and a cup (or three) of coffee, my plan was to spend the majority of both days two-fold: putting together a website and taking photos in anticipation of somehow capturing the weekend in a blog to gain some much needed content.
Via WDSE-TV, enjoy the sounds of this Old English 600 ad. Peoples Brewery in West Duluth developed the recipe for Old English 600 in the 1940s. The company sponsored a radio show with old-time music and several pitches for Regal Supreme Beer and Old English 600 Malt Liquor.
Bos was known in West Duluth for selling his produce on Grand Avenue near the Minit Mart convenience store, formerly known as Little Store. The DNT reports Bos “for decades faithfully drove the 94 miles from his Shell Lake, Wis., farm to western Duluth daily from July to late October to sell produce from next to his pickup truck.”
The final draft of the Cross City Trail Mini-Master Plan was released today by Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division. It outlines the vision for a 10.3-mile multi-purpose paved trail system that connects the Duluth Lakewalk with the Willard Munger State Trail. Much of the trail has already been constructed over the past five years.
The plan is the culmination of more than 12 years of planning and development work. The public entered the process in 2010, when maps of potential routes were released for feedback. Several controversial alternate routes through West Duluth were discussed in the ensuing years when certain right-of-ways became unavailable, but a new route similar to what was initially presented has emerged.
Pending approval of the plan by the Duluth City Council, construction will start on a major new segment called the “River Route,” which will run from the current western end of the Cross City Trail at Carlton Street, under the ore docks, across Interstate 35 and through the riverfront area. The new segment will end at Irving Park. Two proposed connecting trails would create a loop between Irving and the Munger Trail terminus that would include a section completed last summer on the DWP Trail.
Fairmount School at 6715 Redruth St. has served as an apartment building since 1981, but it once bustled with West Duluth kids willing to learn a few things in between cramming gum under their desks and creating general mischief.
The photos collected here are from a few different sources, but most of them were posted to the West Duluth Memories Facebook group by various people.
ShipShape Canvas owners and employees, pictured from left: Thomas Welinski, Tami Sanders, Jonathan Fure, Alice Carlson, Andy Radtke, owners Barb and Jim Welinski.
A growing sailboat accessory manufacturer will move its operations into a historic and long-abandoned West Duluth property this spring.
ShipShape Canvas has purchased the former Euclid Lodge 198 at 611 N. Central Ave. Founded in 2006, the company is currently located at 732 E. Fourth St., where it makes custom canvas covers for sailboats in winter storage.
This photo is dated Dec. 5, 1996. It’s a shot of the exterior mural on the parking lot side of the former Wild West Liquor, 318 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth.
At the time it was probably a fairly new mural; the liquor store changed its name from West Duluth Liquor to Wild West Liquor at some point in the mid 1990s. I don’t remember when the mural was painted over, but I’d guess the side of the building has been plain white for at least ten years. The liquor store closed in 2015.
The building is presently being remodeled to open as Zenith Bookstore in summer 2017.
The overhaul of a neglected West Duluth park honoring local war veterans has been delayed and downsized as city officials develop new plans without a multi-million dollar community center anchoring the project.
Duluth city officials said a two-year-old plan calling for more than $7 million in Memorial Park improvements failed to receive federal funding and a needed community center business partnership. The setback means planning will be reopened to public discussion early in 2017.
As noted in the Perfect Duluth Day story “Planners take another look at West Duluth’s Memorial Park,” a majority of the bronze plates memorializing West Duluth servicemen who died in World War I are either missing or damaged. Above are images of some of the more deteriorated and/or vandalized markers. Of the original 22, just seven remain in place and in good condition.
The markers were planted under trees in 1928 and read: “This tree planted in memory of (name) killed (date) for God and country.”
The Coolerator Company manufactured refrigerators and sold them in every state and 74 foreign nations. It began in 1908 as the Duluth Showcase Company, a manufacturer of store fixtures in Downtown Duluth. Operations moved to 50th Avenue West and Wadena Street in 1921. The focus switched to iceboxes in 1928 and the business was renamed Duluth Refrigerator Company. It became the Coolerator Company in 1932 and opened a manufacturing plant in New Duluth.
A repurposed West Duluth movie theater has been sold to the publisher of an alternative weekly newspaper. The historic West Theater building at 317-319 N. Central Avenue was purchased earlier this month by Duluth Reader founder and publisher Robert Boone, operating as Paladin Properties LLC. The building was previously owned by David Orman, whose now-defunct promotional products business Raven & Associates headquartered there from 2012 to 2014.