August 11, 1907: 30,000 people enjoy a “perfect outing day’ in Duluth’s parks

On this day in Duluth in 1907, an estimated 30,000 people—Duluth and visitors alike— visited the Zenith City’s parks. According to the Duluth News Tribune, it was “the first fair Sunday for a real outing in three weeks, and those who had recently been penned up on the only day of freedom they know each week took advantage of it.” The paper estimated that 15,000 people visited Lester Park alone, with 6,000 more in Lincoln Park, 2,000 in both Cascade and Chester parks, and 2,500 in Fairmount Park. (The paper also listed that 2,500 people visited “Hunter’s Park,” but Duluth’s Hunters Park neighborhood did not include an official city park, so the gathering spot was likely Hunters Field, property owned by the Hunter family but used by residents as a park). Further, several thousand people visited the White City Amusement Park and the excursion boats Newsboy, Mascotte, and Fremont took on 10,000 passenger for trips on Lake Superior or up the St. Louis River to picnic grounds at Chambers Grove in Fond du Lac. Visitors rode the Seventh Avenue West Incline, saw the Aerial Transfer Bridge in action,  or took a carriage along Boulevard Drive, today’s Skyline Parkway. The weather was predicted to be cloudy with a high of 74 and 12 m.p.h. northwest winds, and the story described it as “sunshine and breezes.” The reporter also felt it newsworthy to include the following observation: “Incidentally, it may be observed that a considerable number of the fair sex were out to display their fine raiment. At least that was the conclusion of an onlooker in Lester Park during the afternoon. But he was a crusty old bachelor and may have been unduly prejudiced.”

Lester Park Pavilion, ca. 1900. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)