June 30, 1906: White City Amusement Park opens on Minnesota Point

On this day in Duluth in 1906, the White City Amusement Park opened on Minnesota Point at Oatka Beach, just past 40th Street. Attempting to take advantage of the popularity of Minnesota Point after the Aerial Transfer Bridge began operation a year earlier, members of Duluth’s Retail Merchant’s Association, Real Estate Exchange, and the Duluth Commercial Club established the Duluth Amusement Company with the goal of building an amusement park in Duluth that would be modeled after Chicago’s White City Amusement Park, built in 1905. The Chicago amusement park’s name came from its numerous buildings outlined with white lights. The name also recalled Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which took place near the same location. Festivities featured a speech by Duluth mayor Marcus Cullum and music by the Third Regiment Band. The three thousand people who filled the park had their choice of rides such as the Mystic River boat trip, a merry-go-round, a toboggan water slide, and a miniature railroad made by the actual Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway. Visitors also enjoyed acrobatic and vaudeville acts and circus tent performers such as Olga, “the lady who ties herself into all kinds of shapes.” In the evening, LaBrosse’s Orchestra played dance music in the pavilion while the park glowed with the light of hundreds of electric globes arranged in beautiful designs. No alcohol was served; White City was dry. Adults paid ten cents and each child was charged a nickel. Read a more complete history of Duluth’s White City here.

White City on Minnesota Point, C. 1905. (Image: Zenith City Press)ty

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