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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 4, 1948: Fire destroys Rudolph’s Furniture, 47 other businesses affected

On this day in Duluth in 1948, fire of an unknown origin destroyed Rudolph’s Furniture store at 302–308 West First Street. According to Duluth Fire Department historian Jarry Keppers, the fire started in the basement of the four-story building and soon every available Duluth firefighter was called to the scene, assisted with more apparatus supplied…

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June 3, 1977:  Duluthian killed at Kiddieland next to Duluth’s zoo

On this day in Duluth in 1977, a 22-year-old man was killed while trespassing at Thornton’s Kiddieland, an amusement park for children located next to Duluth’s zoo in Fairmount Park. Kiddieland, beloved by zoo-goers since 1937, featured Chair-O-Plane ride, a Ferris wheel, a “Little Dipper,” and other rides—but its most memorable attraction was one of…

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June 2, 1851: Birth of future Duluth mayor Charles D’Autremont

On this day in 1851, future Duluth Mayor Charles D’Autremont was born in Angelica, New York. Educated at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the Academy at Lausanne, Switzerland, D’Autremont first came to Duluth in 1882 to work as a lawyer specializing in real estate. His attention soon turned to civic service; he won the race…

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June 1, 1903: First professional baseball game at Duluth’s Athletic Park

On this day in Duluth in 1903, Duluth’s brand new Athletic Park hosted its first professional baseball game. Located immediately west of the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway’s ore docks, the wooden athletic facility with seating for 3,000 was hastily built the previous month. According to Twin Ports baseball historian Anthony Bush, the Duluth Cardinals…

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May 31, 1929: New municipal golf course opens in Superior

On this day across the bay in 1929, Superior opened its first municipal golf course along Tower Avenue—but it wasn’t around for long. It was built with financial support from the local Kiwanis Club. More than 150 people showed up to watch Mayor George E. Deitrich drive the first ball. That year, under the direction…

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May 30, 1905: City rejects liquor license for pavilion in Lincoln Park

On this day in Duluth in 1905, Duluth’s Common Council rejected a request by W. J. Chestock for a license to sell liquor in a pavilion within Lincoln Park. Chestock intended to rebuild a pavilion adjacent to the west side of Lincoln Park on Fifth Street, between Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Avenues West, that had burned…

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May 29, 1911: Actress Sarah Bernhardt wows Duluth audience

On this day in Duluth in 1911 Sarah Bernhardt, the “most famous actress the world has ever known,” wowed audiences at the Lyceum Theater. Bernhardt was 67 when she stepped onto the Lyceum’s stage and starred in the play “L’Aiglon,” (“The Eaglet”) portraying Napoleon Boneapart’s son, a boy less than 20 years old. The Duluth…

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May 28, 1909: Death of Duluth Fire Department Chief John Black

On this day in Duluth in 1909, Duluth Fire Department Chief John Black died of complications following surgery for appendicitis. Following surgery by Dr. A. J. Braden of St. Luke’s Hospital, Black was slow to recover “owing to the advance stage of the disease.” Black had been chief of the Duluth Fire Department since 1894,…

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May 27, 1932: Lester Park Golf Course opens for the first time

On this day in Duluth in 1932, the first nine holes of the Lester Park Golf Course opened to the public. The course was developed to give the working-class public another place to play besides Enger Park Golf Course, and to put men to work in the midst of the Great Depression. Park Superintendent F.…

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May 26, 1932: Grand opening of Duluth’s Medical Arts Building

On this day in Duluth in 1932, the brand new Medical Arts Building held its grand opening. The building at 324 West Superior Street, designed by Ernest R. Ericson, is considered the Zenith City’s Art Deco masterpiece—indeed it is one of only a few Art Deco buildings ever constructed in Duluth, and by far the…

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