Posts by Maryanne C. Norton

Hunters Park Grocery

2301 Woodland Avenue | Architect Unknown | b. 1893 Duluth’s Hunters Park Grocery, aka “The Old Snow White,” was constructed in 1893, the year Scotland natives George and Jessie McGhie arrived in Duluth. George’s son James D. McGhie preceded him in the Zenith City and worked for several wholesale grocers before teaming up with Roderick…

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Lange Motors Building

206–214 East Superior Street | Architect: Unknown | b. 1915 This building was first constructed in 1915 as the Interstate Auto Company. By 1930 it was home to Duluth’s REO Speedwagon dealership (206–208), Kent Motors (210–212), and J. M. Michel Tires (214). Ten years later Lange Motors, Fox Auto Supply, and the Blue & White Hamburger…

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Northern Bible Society Building

715 West Superior Street | Architect Unknown | b. 1932 | Extant From when it was built in 1932 until 1979, this little building was home to the Northern Bible Society, the brainchild of Rev. Henry Ramseyer. Ramseyer constructed the building to house his remarkable collection of Bibles and artifacts related to the history of…

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Service Motor Company

124 East Superior Street | Architects: Frederick German & A. Werner Lignell | Built: 1909 | Extant Known on the National Register of Historic Places as the Service Motor Company Building, the structure at 124 East Superior was built in 1909 by builders McLoed & Smith for owner David B. McDonald. The Duluth pioneer was…

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West Duluth’s Historic Hospitals

During the first half of the twentieth century, four hospitals served the western half of Duluth. Recently a patron at the Duluth Public Library, where I volunteer, asked the reference staff if they knew anything about the Webber Hospital in West Duluth. I was surprised to learn there was more than one hospital serving the western…

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Riverside Hospital

In 1900, after producing his last whaleback ore ship, Duluth’s famed shipbuilder Alexander McDougall sold his American Steel Barge facilities along the St. Louis River in Superior to the Superior Ship Building Company. He later set up shop on property he owned on Rice’s Point at 15th Avenue East, the site he originally wanted to…

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McDonald House

1831 East Third Street | Architects: German & Lignell | b. 1908 Known historically as the Donald B. and Lillie M. McDonald House, the home was designed by Duluth architects Frederick German and A. Werner Lignell and built in 1908.  A two-and-a-half-story structure executed in the Neoclassical Revival style, the house features decorative brick and…

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Prindle House

2211 Greysolon Road | Architect: William A. Hunt | b. ca. 1900 William and Mina Prindle at 2211 Greysolon Road—is one of the Zenith City’s more remarkable homes. William Prindle was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and grew up in Wilmington, Illinois. He began his career as a clerk for several railroads before arriving in Duluth…

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Warner House aka The Birches

2391 Woodland Avenue | Architects: Edwin Radcliffe & Vernon Price | b. 1908 | Extant Newspaper articles in 1908 and 1909 printed numerous stories about the homes on Second Street from Fourth to Sixth Avenues West which would have to be relocated or demolished for the construction of the 1909 St. Louis County Courthouse. Many…

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St. Paul’s Evangelical

932 East Third Street | Architect | b. 1873 | Extant In March 1872, 25 German-born immigrants representing 14 families gathered at Duluth’s Pilgrim Congregational Church not to pray, nor to attend a Congregational service, but to organize St. Paul’s German-Evangelical Church. Trustees included H. Oswald, Charles Henning, D. Geiger, Peter Stefan, Albert Weiland, and…

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St. Peter’s Episcopal

2801 W. First Street | Architect Unknown | b. 1909 Duluth’s West End had a large Swedish population during the 1890s and the early years of the twentieth century as immigrants from Sweden came for jobs with railroads, sawmills, flour mills and metal manufacturing plants. The West End was conveniently located for those occupations. By…

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Turner Hall

601 East Third Street | Oliver Traphagen | b. 1888 | Lost: 1890 601 East Third Street | William Hunt | b. 1891 | Lost: ca. 1965 In Germany in 1811, a group of men founded a society that encouraged physical exercise, especially gymnastics, which they believed would instill a sense of patriotism, citizenship and…

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St. Louis County Courthouse (1883)

611 East Second Street | Architect: George Wirth | b. 1883 | Lost: ca. 1915 As you may have read, these past weeks Maryanne Norton and I have been digging up history on today’s Shel/Don Building, whose upper level was leased as the Duluth Municipal Court for 20 years beginning in 1909. Looking into the…

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West Duluth Village Hall

531 Central Avenue  | Oliver Traphagen | b. 1888 | Lost: 2014 With the exception of the town of Oneota (first settled in the 1850s), most of what would become today’s West Duluth was described as “a barren wasteland” as late as 1887. In the spring of 1888 the West Duluth Land Company, led by…

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Merrill House

2626 Branch Street (2625 Greysolon Road) | Architect: Unknown | Built: ca. 1900 | Lost: 1938 In our book Lost Duluth, the most recently constructed building featured is Roy and Edythe Halvorson’s remarkable Modernist home designed by Harold St. Clair Starin, which stood at 2628 Branch Street from 1939 until 1994. Since the book’s publication,…

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Duluth’s Historic Tea Rooms

Duluth had many tea rooms beginning in the early part of the twentieth century. They were a popular fad throughout the country, many of them housed in major department stores, and the scene of many society lunches, bridge parties, and other events and were particularly popular among “society women.” They were nearly all operated by…

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A. G. & Clara Thomson

Adam Gentles Thomson was born in Duluth on July 22, 1888. He attended Duluth public schools before heading east to boarding school at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. In 1911 he was graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University. Newspaper articles indicate he may have attended Macalester College in St. Paul at…

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Alexander D. Thomson

Alexander D. Thomson was born in Scotland in 1856. He first came to the United States with his family, including a brother named A. G. Thomson, in September, 1860. The Thomsons arrived in Boston and eventually settled in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Not much is known of Thomson before he arrived in Duluth. An article that…

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Thomas Storey

For much of its life, Duluth’s Storey Taxidermist along Sixth Avenue East was operated by Thomas J. Storey, one of two sons of Dr. Thomas Henry Storey who followed their father into the family trade. The elder Storey was himself a taxidermist but became better known as an early practitioner of chiropractic medicine who is…

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