Garfield Avenue & Superior Street

July's Past & Present Pic

Photo: Jim Dabis
Photo: Jim Davis

A lot has changed along Garfield Avenue since the 1890s—and up the hillside as well, as witnessed by this photo. The original photographer’s perspective is now blocked by an overgrowth of vegetation, so the buildings along Superior Street are hidden. That’s the Clarendon Hotel on the “southeast” street corner with the turret-like tower, built in 1887 by Dr. Samuel Walbank and demolished in 1942. The railroad roundhouse was built in the 1890s by the Northern Pacific Railroad and destroyed in the 1970s. Note the upper-right section of the original image: that scattering of people are baseball players in the middle of a game; that location hosted many baseball games until the construction of Athletic Park in 1903. Only two of the buildings seen along Superior Street in the upper photo remain today—the two complete buildings furthest to the right side of the image on the lower side of the street. Today they are home to Duluth Pack, and have been for some time. This month’s image is a personal subject for photographer Jim Davis: his great-great-grandfather Charles Atol (originally Kalale Ettoll) owned the grocery store east of the Clarendon and the duplex behind it. He later owned the Kandy Kitchen located at 19th Avenue West and Superior Street.

July's Past & Present Pic

5 Responses to Garfield Avenue & Superior Street

  1. My uncle was Hugh McKenzie. I remember knowing him and being with him when I was little. He was a very nice person. I am sure that I was told that he was a civil war photographer as well as a prolific photographer of early Duluth. His name has been removed from most of his photographs and he left no heirs. He was married for many years to Winifred Ruggles from Illinois. He also owned a photography studio on 4th Ave. West across, I believe,from the City Hall. They lived , for many years, out on Congdon Rd. in a little log house. He also had a distinct limp which maybe came from a Civil war wound or something else. I don’t believe there was a photographer who did as much to preserve Duluth’s history as he did…..

  2. I remember the Garfield News on the corner, Jim Heffernan. I used to really like that store .

  3. My maternal grandmother Helen Pust was an Atol, one of her brothers, Jimmy had his junk store at that location for many years. I always joked with him asking what he wanted for the 1957 Oldsmobile spinner hub cap that was on display in the front window for years. He use to reply that he had a deal working on it…..He used to take me to Wade Stadium in the 40’s and 50’s to watch the Duluth Dukes. Great memories.

  4. The Atols ruled on that block well into the ’50s and even the ’60a. Much later than this picture shows, the Garfield News operated on the southwest corner and was a thriving business for decades when the junction of Garfield Avenue, Piedmont and Superior Street was a major crossroads of Duluth. The Garfield news building later was, for a time, headquarters of the Dierckins publishing interests. It still stands, hidden behind the brush in the contemporary photo.

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