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,”.

August 15, 1869: Atlantic magazine reporter arrives in Duluth

On this day in Duluth Township in 1869, Atlantic reporter John Townsend Trowbridge arrived at the Head of the Lakes via a steamboat the citizens of Duluth had sent up the St. Louis River to Thompson, the extant of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad at the time. He spent a week in Duluth, a…

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August 14, 1962: Duluth Mayor E. Clifford Mork dies in office

On this day in Duluth in 1962, Duluth Mayor E. Clifford Mork, 57, died suddenly at his home at 2:30 a.m. Newspapers reports gave no cause for Mork’s death, and his personal physician only said that the mayor had no history of heart ailments. The mayor was a Duluth native, a 1922 graduate of Duluth’s…

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August 13, 1899: Legendary baseball manager picks two Duluthians

On this day in Duluth in 1899, Charles Comiskey—then manager of the St. Paul Saints baseball team—left Duluth after signing two local boys to pitch and catch for his squad. Pitcher Roy Peterson and a catcher named Ritter (sportswriters of the time were notorious for omitting first names, as you will see) were to report…

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August 12, 1896: Third drowning in two days

On this day in Duluth in 1896, the Duluth News Tribune reported the drowning of a twelve-year-old boy named Cameron in Chester Creek, the third drowning in two days and another in a string of water-related tragedies in the Zenith City that summer. The previous day a fourteen-year-old was swimming near the Interstate Bridge when…

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August 11, 1906: Steamer Troy wrecks Interstate Bridge

On this day in Duluth in 1906, the steamer Troy, piloted by Captain Robert Murray, rammed the Interstate Bridge at 1 a.m. The 398-foot, 3,665-ton vessel knocked a 200-foot piece of steel into the bay and buckled the northern span, which collapsed, blocking all traffic on the bay and trapping thirty-three ships inside the upper…

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August 10, 1904: Masons lay cornerstone for new Masonic Temple

On this day in Duluth in 1904, hundreds of Masons dressed “in full regalia” gathered at the southwest corner of Lake Avenue and Second Street to witness Minnesota Grand Master (and prominent Duluthian) William McGgonagle lay the cornerstone for the new Duluth Masonic Temple at 4 West Second Street. Before that, the Masons had gathered…

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August 9, 1870: Duluth council passes bond for ship canal

On this day in 1870, Duluth’s Common Council (akin to today’s City Council) voted to take on a $50,000 bond to dig a ship canal. The bond was essentially an agreement with the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad and the Banking House of Jay Cooke to loan the city $50,000 to hire a dredging tug…

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August 8, 1869: Birth of Colonel Hubert Eva

On this day in 1869, future Duluthian Colonel Hubert V. Eva was born in Cornwall, England. Eva was the last surviving veteran of the Indian Campaigns. Often called an “Ex-Indian Fighter” by the press, Eva did not care for the term. “It was rather foolish,” Eva said of the battles. “You don’t hunt people like…

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August 7, 1912: Sinking of the James Gayley

On this day in 1912, the Cleveland Steamship Company’s freighter James Gayley sank on her way to Duluth from Buffalo, New York, with a load of coal. The vessel was forty-three miles east of Manitou Island near the tip of Michigan’s Keewena Peninsula navigating a thick fog at 1:35 a.m. when she collided with the…

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August 6, 1885: Minnesota Point Lighthouse shuts down

On this day in Duluth in 1885, operation of the 1858 Minnesota Point Lighthouse ceased. Built to guide mariners through the Superior Entry (the convergence of the Nemadji and St. Louis rivers between Minnesota and Wisconsin Point), the structure had problems from the start: it leaked, and the plaster covering its bricks fell off in…

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