This Day in Duluth Archive

Use our search function to find “This Day” entries for a specific day of the year. Spell out the month and include a comma after the date numeral, do not include a year, and place it all within quotation marks, like this: “May 1,”.

June 21, 1893: The Brunnel Block Burns

On this day in Duluth in 1893, the Brunnel Block at 101–109 Lake Avenue South was completely consumed by fire, killing at least five people, including children. Described as one of the largest structures in Duluth, the Brunnel was a three-story timber-frame building the Duluth News Tribune called a “veritable fire trap.” It held at…

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June 20, 1921: Mayor Snively creates advisory parks board

On this day in Duluth in 1921, Mayor Samuel F. Snively presented a city council resolution to form a “nonsalaried park board to act in conjunction with the city’s welfare department.” The resolution, part of Snively’s plan to make Duluth “the northwest’s most beautiful city,” was passed unanimously. The board’s duties would be to “assist…

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June 19, 1901: Superior Mayor arrested for slander, then sued for libel

On this day across the bay in 1901, Superior Mayor F. A. Parker was arrested for slandering alderman John Barry. Earlier in the month, Superior’s city council had passed a resolution, introduced by Barry, demanding that the mayor and police chief prepare a report on the city’s gambling dens and houses of prostitution. At a…

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June 18, 1906: Lack of Tourist Accommodations bemuses newspaper

On this day in Duluth in 1906, the Duluth News Tribune declared Duluth was in “Need of Large Summer Hotel” and stated that there existed a “great need of a representative Duluth body to advertise the city and its attractions as a summer resort.” The year before, the opening of Duluth’s Aerial Transfer Bridge had…

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June 17, 1910: Duluth’s Holland House Hotel opens

On this day in Duluth in 1910 the Holland House Hotel opened at 501 West Superior Street. Designed by Duluth architects Bray & Nystrom, the six-story Holland Hotel’s opening was timed with that of the Soo Line Passenger Depot one block east of the hotel, which essentially brought out-of-town visitors to the hotel’s front door.…

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June 16, 1869: First wave of Swedish immigrants land in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1869, nearly 200 immigrants from Sweden arrived in Duluth to make their home in the new world, an event the Duluth Minnesotian called “the first installment of the Scandinavian immigration to Duluth.” They arrived on the steamer Norman and had been recruited to come to Duluth by William Branch,…

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June 15, 1920: Duluthians lynch three innocent men

On this day in Duluth in 1920, the John Robinson Show Circus was in town after two performances in West Duluth the previous day. Eighteen-year-old Duluthian James Sullivan claimed that a black man from the circus held a pistol to his head and forced him to watch five other black circus hands rape Irene Tusken,…

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June 13, 1871: Ship Canal Injunction served

On this day in Duluth in 1871, an injunction designed to stop development of the Duluth Ship Canal—brought about by a request of the city of Superior, Wisconsin—was served to Duluth city officials. Despite what legends say, by then the canal had already been cut and developed into a waterway fifty feet wide and eight…

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June 12, 1853: Birth of Chester Adgate Congdon

On this day in 1853, future Duluthian Chester Adgate Congdon was born in Rochester, New York. Congdon attended Syracuse University as a member of the class of 1875. There he met fellow student Clara Hesperia, daughter of Rev. William Bannister of San Francisco, whom he would marry in Syracuse; together they would raise seven children.…

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