West Duluth Posts

Postcard from the Central Motel in West Duluth

This postcard of the Central Motel was mailed Sept. 20, 1956 — 65 years ago today. The address, 24 N. Central Ave., is now greenspace across Main Street from Irving Park. The land is controlled by the idled Duluth paper mill, which was sold by Verso Corporation in May to ST Paper.

Mystery Photo #141: Mr. & Mrs. Burchell

From the back of this cabinet card photo we know the subjects are Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Burchell or Burehell, married Aug. 26, 1891. They were also presumably residents of West Duluth. The photo is from the Downtown Duluth studio of John R. Zweifel.

Postcard from Bethany Children’s Home in 1916

This handsome structure at 4000 W. Ninth St. was originally the home of Alfred and Jane Merritt. They sold it to the Swedish Lutheran Church of West Duluth the same year this postcard was mailed, 1916, and it became an orphanage. The home was destroyed by fire on Oct. 10, 1920.

Postcard from the Alger-Smith Sawmill

This postcard was mailed 100 years ago today — July 29, 1911. By then the Alger-Smith Sawmill in West Duluth had been dismantled following a decade-long decline in the sawmilling industry.

Anyone with a century-old garage in West Duluth likely owns scraps of the Alger-Smith mill. “There must be 100 garages in West Duluth that have been built this summer out of lumber taken during the process of dismantling,” the company’s president told the Duluth Herald in a story that appeared in the Sept. 22, 1920 edition. “Every day or two some person inquires for the lumber, and when we ask him what it is for he says, ‘A garage.’ Our lumber must have built almost all of the garages in West Duluth this summer.”

West Duluth’s Allyndale Motel circa 1971

Allyndale Motel

The Allyndale Motel has been in operation at 510 N. 66th Ave. W. since 1952. The backside of the postcard image above boasts the motel’s features circa the 1970s: “Overlooking Duluth – Free TV – Room Phones – Tubs and Showers – Large Units – Individually controlled Hot Water Heat.”

Charlie Parr-king Lot

Charlie Parr performed in the parking lot outside Wussow’s Concert Cafe during Pete Fest Tuesday night, playing his unique brand of Dumpster blues. The festival continues through Saturday.

The Slice: Tour of Murals at the Kom-on-Inn

The interior of the Kom-on-Inn in West Duluth is surrounded with Arthur Fleming’s oil paintings of industry that stretched across the city in the 1950s. The building at 332 N. 57th Ave. W. was constructed in 1891 according to St. Louis County land records and the bar took the name Kom-on-Inn circa 1942 under the proprietorship of Frank M. Crotty according to city directories.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

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.

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.

Stewart Shoe Company of West Duluth

One hundred years ago the Stewart Shoe Company was on its way out and American Bakery Company was on its way in at 324 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth. The building there was constructed in 1894 and today is occupied by Wussow’s Concert Cafe, which opened under the name Beaner’s Central in 1999.

West Duluth Gardens of 1920

There seems to be a gardening boom in 2020, obviously due to more people staying home during the pandemic. West Duluth has a bit of a reputation for having had numerous gardens a century ago that slowly petered out in more recent decades. According to an article in the Aug. 7, 1920 Duluth Herald, gardening in West Duluth got a big boost from the neighborhood’s commercial club.

Jade Fountain tiki bar opens Aug. 7

The new Jade Fountain tiki bar has its grand opening scheduled for Friday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. The space will be limited to 50 patrons at a time due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Drinks will be pre-made for additional safety.

Duluth Cross City Trail 2020 Update: Segment 2 nearly complete

The River Route segment of Duluth’s Cross City Trail has been under construction this summer in West Duluth. It should be paved and ready for bicyclists in a matter of weeks.

Classic photos of Lake Superior Zoo and Kingsbury Creek

The Duluth Zoo’s white stucco restroom facilities circa 1923. Photo by Hugh McKenzie.

Duluth’s municipal zoo opened in 1923 after the city council gave a small piece of land to print-shop owner Bert Onsgard and hired him as zookeeper. He was paid $1 per year for tending to a white-tailed deer and a few native birds. The zoo would eventually expand to cover 16 acres of land surrounding Kingsbury Creek in Fairmount Park, and hold hundreds of animals from around the world.

Mystery Photo #117: Fourth of July Parade in West Duluth

The written caption tells us pretty much everything we need to know, except for one critical thing: What year was this?

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