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 as treasurer. It cost one dollar to join. Over two hundred people gathered in Superior’s Nicollet House hotel. Entertainment was provided by the Badger Cornet Band and the Duluth Glee Club. Ashland Mayor Thomas Bardon could not attend the event, but sent a letter that included the following: “I will be in Milwaukee Wednesday, or I would go up and participate, prevaricate, irrigate and masticate. I anticipate you will elucidate, orate, and gesticulate on the occasion. At any rate, celebrate, affiliate, feel first rate, but don’t inebriate.” The Old Settler’s Club included Walter Van Brunt, who would write an epic three volume history of Duluth and St. Louis County, published in 1922.

Walter Van Brunt. (Image: Duluth public Library)van brunt