Posts by Tony Dierckins

Tour Duluth’s “Dark History” with the Duluth Experience

Our friends at The Duluth Experience have announced the return of their “Dark History” bus tour. This tour, developed in part with the help of Zenith City Press, explores some of the more notorious events in Duluth’s history and even includes a few ghost stories and an Ojibwe legend. The Experience’s Nick Shultz leads the tour, which…

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If we “save” the LS&M, we first need a viable plan for its future

This article also appears in the Sunday August 13 edition of the Duluth News Tribune. August is a historic month for the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. Its final spike was driven August 1, 1870, and passenger service between St. Paul and Duluth began three weeks later. August 2017 finds Duluth’s civic leaders considering the…

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Could today’s rail bikes save yesterday’s railroad?

This article also appears in the Sunday August 13 edition of the Duluth News Tribune. In a companion story we have outlined the difficulties of saving what is left of the historic Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad and adapting it for reuse as a vital heritage railroad (click here for that story). Despite those hurdles,…

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Hagbert “Bert” J. Enger

Born March 24, 1864, in Hamar, Norway, Hagbert “Bert” J. Enger came to America in 1877 along with his maternal grandparents (his mother stayed in Norway; his father is thought to have abandoned the family). The thirteen-year-old immigrant found work on a farm in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Later jobs took him to Wisconsin sawmills, Dakota…

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‘Glensheen: The Official Guide’ a winner at the 2017 NEMBAs

Dennis O’Hara’s Glensheen: The Official Guide to Duluth’s Historic Congdon Estate, published by Zenith City Press, won the Northeast Minnesota Book Award in the Art and Photography category at last night’s 29th-annual award program. Congratulations to Dennis, whose photographs of Glensheen and the grounds that surround it are the focus of the book and the…

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Welcome to a new day in the Zenith City!

You’ve no-doubt noticed the website looks quite different today. But you may not have noticed that for the past few years webmeister Dan Turner has essentially been keeping Zenith City Online online with the digital equivalent of duct tape and chewing gum. And now Dan is heading to Northwestern University to get his Ph.D. in linguistics, so…

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Cook House

501 West Skyline Parkway | Architect: I. Vernon Hill | Built: 1900 | Extant Most Duluthians know the Arthur P. Cook house (named for its first owner, a Duluth druggist who dabbled in real estate and later operated the County Poor Farm) as the “House of Rock” both for the rocky lot it sits on…

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Cross River

Missionary Frederic R. Baraga, born in Yugoslavia in 1797, came to the United States in 1830 to devote his life to the American Indians of the Upper Great Lakes and was named Bishop of Upper Michigan in 1853 (Baraga, Michigan, is named for him). But before that, he had a little trouble in a canoe.…

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Brief History of Duluth, 1856–1939

Boom, Bust, Boom Two years before the Treaty of 1854, George Stuntz had pulled up stakes in Superior, made his way to Minnesota Point, and driven them back down, becoming Duluth’s unofficial first resident of European descent. He wasn’t alone for long. With the treaty in place, mining speculators hoping to make it rich pulling…

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Duluth’s Development, 1856–1939

The city we now know as Duluth began developing in 1856, after the 1854 Treaty of LaPointe opened land north of Lake Superior for settlement by Americans of European descent. Superior, Wisconsin, pioneer George Stuntz famously set up the first structure—a trading post on the southern end of Minnesota Point—four years earlier. Between 1856 and…

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