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,”.

February 18, 1913: Central High Students balk at “Gay Deceiver”

On this day in Duluth in 1913, the senior class of Central High School stopped rehearsals of the play “The Gay Deceiver” because members felt the play, chosen by Professor A. F. M. Custace, “was not one that the Drama League of America would sanction” for high school pupils. Written by John A. Fraser in…

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February 17, 1906: Peavey Grain Elevator destroyed by fire

On this day in Duluth in 1906, thousands of Duluthians watched as the older, wooden silos of the modern, concrete Peavey Grain Elevator, located on the bay side of Rice’s Point, were destroyed by a fire that burned for nearly four hours. The fire was called in after witnesses saw flames burst through the top…

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February 16, 1856: Harriet Peet nearly crushed traveling to Superior

On this day on their way to Superior in 1856, Reverend James Peet and his wife Harriet—along with Reverend Edmund Ely—had some trouble along the Military Road from St. Paul to the Head of the Lakes. The road was notoriously rough. In fact, Ely had been warned about it by another Duluth pioneer, Luke Marvin,…

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February 15, 1915: Death of Duluth pioneer George Spencer

On this day in Duluth in 1915, Zenith City pioneer George Spencer died at his home at 2230 East Third Street. He was 72, and his health had been failing for some time. Spencer was born Westminster, Vermont, on November 26, 1843, and graduated high school in Boston. Spencer came to Duluth in 1870 to…

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February 14: 1912: Duluth man arrested for bombing of L.A. Times building

On this day in Duluth in 1912, structural engineer Frederick J. Mooney of 125 North 28th Avenue West was arrested in connection with the dynamiting of the Los Angeles Times building on October 1, 1910. Brothers James and John McNamara and Ortie McManagal of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers were charged…

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February 13, 1905: Dedication of St. Jean Baptiste Church

On this day in Duluth in 1905, Catholic officials dedicated the new St. Jean Baptiste Church and parish school at 2432 West Third Street. The first St. Jean’s was built at 1100 West Superior Street—essentially the base of Point of Rocks—in 1885, when French-Canadians made up the largest population of Catholics in Duluth. (When the…

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February 12: 1939: Roof of Duluth’s Amphitheatre collapses

On this day in Duluth in 1939, the roof of the Duluth Amphitheatre collapsed during an exhibition hockey game between Duluth policemen and fireman from Virginia, Minnesota. A crowd of 3,000 gathered to watch, including about 2,000 children invited as special guests: local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, school police patrol members, and residents…

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February 11, 1894: Fire destroys Duluth’s first Board of Trade building.

On this day in Duluth in 1894, fire destroyed the Board of Trading building that had stood at 302–304 West Superior Street since 1885. The fire was first discovered at about 12:20 in the afternoon. Trade commissioners attempted to extinguish the blaze, but the building’s hose produced no water. When firefighters arrived, they found nearby…

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February 9, 1896: Duluth pioneer Charles F. Johnson laid to rest

On this day in Duluth in 1896, the body of Charles F. Johnson was laid to rest in Forest Hill Cemetery in a Masonic ceremony that began at the Masonic Temple at Second Avenue West and Superior Street. Masons and members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) marched with the hearse to Lake…

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