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,”.

July 20, 1911: Water carnival delights Duluth

On this day in 1911, the Duluth Boat Club kicked off a three-day water carnival—a traditional that began in 1907—including an evening “Venetian Fete” on the bay that included an “immense illumination system” over the bay that promised to produce lights of 60,000 candle power. Downtown Duluth was decked out in red, white, and blue pennants and…

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July 19, 1881: Fire destroys the City of Winnipeg

On this day in 1881, the propellor ship City of Winnipeg was destroyed by fire in the Duluth harbor. The two-hundred foot wooden vessel had tied up to the Northern Pacific dock at 2 a.m., with most of her passengers fast asleep. Fire broke out in the engine room and was soon out of control.…

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July 18, 1915: Birth of Duluthian Jane Frazee

On this day in 1915, future Duluthian Mary Jane Frehse was born in St. Paul, Minnesota; her family moved to the Zenith City just two years later. Jane and her older sister Ruth took dance classes and in 1922 performed at the Doric Theater as part of a fund raiser. After that, their widowed mother…

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July 17, 1945: Fire destroys the luxury liner Hamonic

On this day in 1945, the steamship Hamonic—which regularly ran seven-day excursions between Detroit and Duluth—burned while docked at Point Edward, Ontario. Launched in 1908, the Hamonic became part of the Northern Navigation Division of Canada Steamship Lines in 1913. Her name is in honor of Northern Navigation president H. C. Hammond. Considered the most…

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July 16, 1891: Damaging storm devastates Duluth & Superior

On this day in Duluth and Superior 1891, heavy storms ripped through both cities. Newspapers reported rainfall totals as “without parallel in Duluth” and mentioned that “for five minutes water fell at the rate of seven feet a day.” The storm began about 2:30 in the afternoon, and between 3:08 and 3:13 let loose with…

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July 15, 1912: Death of former Duluth mayor J. B. Sutphin

On this day in 1912, pioneer Duluthian J. B. Sutphin died in the home of his son Ralph at 318 Third Avenue West, after a long illness. A native of New Jersey, Sutphin had arrived in Duluth in about 1872, when he was just twenty years old. He started out by trading along Lake Superior’s…

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July 14, 1906: First car trip from Twin Cities to Duluth

On this day in 1906, J. M. Arnold became the first person to travel in an automobile from the twin Cities to Duluth, taking seventeen hours and fifteen minutes to get to the Zenith City from Minneapolis. His route took him, for the most part, through Wisconsin, first heading to St. Paul, on to Stillwater,…

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July 13, 1887: First Duluth Boat Club facility opens

On this day in 1878, the Duluth Boat Club—organized just over a year earlier—opened its first facility at Slip #1 in the harbor, located between Sixth and Seventh Avenues West (roughly where the stage of Bayfront Festival Park stands today). The Duluth Daily News raved that the Club’s first reception was the “social event of…

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July 12, 1910: Tourists stop in Duluth to sample exotic cocktails

On this day in 1910, the Duluth News Tribune reported that a group of tourists on their way to Yellowstone Park stopped in Duluth to sample two new cocktails being served in the Zenith City’s “prominent hotels.” The drinks, the paper claimed, were sure to “add the fame of Duluth west, east, north and south.”…

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July 11, 1941: The NorShor Theatre opens

On this day in 1941, the NorShor Theatre opened for the first time, showing Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in Caught in the Draft, a war comedy theatre manager Earl Long promised had been “shattering box office records on its first runs in New York and Chicago.” Long also made sure the newspaper reported that…

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