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June 6, 1963: Fairlawn Mansion rededicated as a museum

On this day across the bay in 1963, Fairlawn mansion was rededicated as the Douglas County Historical Society Museum. Fairlawn was built by lumber and mining executive Martin Pattison, three-time mayor of Superior, at 906 East Second Street in 1890. Superior purchased the estate $12,500. The following spring Douglas County Historical Society Curator James Lundsted oversaw the task of transforming Fairlawn into a museum to house the Society’s collection of artifacts. The building underwent a restoration in the 1990s, after which the historical society’s lease was not renewed. The organization eventually relocated in the historic Vasa Temple at John Avenue and Eleventh Street. Superior Public Museums now operates the house. Learn more about Fairlawn and its builder, Martin Pattison—aka Simeon Thayer—and find out why he changed his name before coming to Superior, here.

Fairlawn photographed in 2014. (Image:

1870: Duluth’s First Year as a City

The following story—adapted from Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography (Minnesota Historical Society Press, April 2020)—was first published in the Duluth News Tribune in March, 2020, in celebration of Duluth’s 150th anniversary of first becoming a city on March 6, 1870. ___________ In 1870, its first year as a city, Duluth—destined to become the “Zenith…


Baseball’s Individual Duluth Dukes

Long before the Duluth Dukes took to the diamond at Athletic Park in 1935, at least four different professional baseball players were known as “The Duke of Duluth” or the “Duluth Duke.” Arthur Michael O’Dea was the first. Born in Halton County, Ontario, Canada, in 1875, O’Dea served as the playing manager of the minor…

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