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 18, 1906: Lack of Tourist Accommodations bemuses newspaper

On this day in Duluth in 1906, the Duluth News Tribune declared Duluth was in “Need of Large Summer Hotel” and stated that there existed a “great need of a representative Duluth body to advertise the city and its attractions as a summer resort.” The year before, the opening of Duluth’s Aerial Transfer Bridge had…

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June 17, 1910: Duluth’s Holland House Hotel opens

On this day in Duluth in 1910 the Holland House Hotel opened at 501 West Superior Street. Designed by Duluth architects Bray & Nystrom, the six-story Holland Hotel’s opening was timed with that of the Soo Line Passenger Depot one block east of the hotel, which essentially brought out-of-town visitors to the hotel’s front door.…

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June 16, 1869: First wave of Swedish immigrants land in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1869, nearly 200 immigrants from Sweden arrived in Duluth to make their home in the new world, an event the Duluth Minnesotian called “the first installment of the Scandinavian immigration to Duluth.” They arrived on the steamer Norman and had been recruited to come to Duluth by William Branch,…

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June 15, 1920: Duluthians lynch three innocent men

On this day in Duluth in 1920, the John Robinson Show Circus was in town after two performances in West Duluth the previous day. Eighteen-year-old Duluthian James Sullivan claimed that a black man from the circus held a pistol to his head and forced him to watch five other black circus hands rape Irene Tusken,…

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June 13, 1871: Ship Canal Injunction served

On this day in Duluth in 1871, an injunction designed to stop development of the Duluth Ship Canal—brought about by a request of the city of Superior, Wisconsin—was served to Duluth city officials. Despite what legends say, by then the canal had already been cut and developed into a waterway fifty feet wide and eight…

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June 12, 1853: Birth of Chester Adgate Congdon

On this day in 1853, future Duluthian Chester Adgate Congdon was born in Rochester, New York. Congdon attended Syracuse University as a member of the class of 1875. There he met fellow student Clara Hesperia, daughter of Rev. William Bannister of San Francisco, whom he would marry in Syracuse; together they would raise seven children.…

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June 11, 1903: The Birth of Ernest Alanzo Nevers

On this day in 1903, future National Football League star Ernie Nevers was born in Willow River, Minnesota. Nevers attended Superior Central High School where he led the football team to the 1918 Wisconsin State Championship before going on to Stanford University where he became known as the “Big Dog,” and the “Blonde Bull.” He…

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June 10, 1889: The grand opening of the Spalding Hotel

On this day in Duluth in 1889 the Spalding Hotel at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue West and Superiors Street opened for the first time. Named for investor William W. Spalding, the hotel was the largest in Duluth when it opened. The following day the Duluth Evening Herald  made several pronouncements: “Hotel unequaled in…

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June 9, 1886: Old Settler’s Club gathers for first time

On this day in 1891, Duluth pioneers crossed the bay to Superior for the first semi-annual meeting of the Old Settler’s Club, made up of those who came to the Head of the Lakes prior to 1861. George Stuntz acted as the group’s first president and James Bardon, for whom Bardon’s Peak is named, acted…

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