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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,”.

August 11, 1852: Marriage of George & Julia Nettleton

On this day in Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1852, Duluth pioneers George and Julia Nettleton were wed. According to Mrs. Nettleton’s recollections, George “had been an Indian trader for several years on Madeline Island.” Roughly ten days into their marriage the pair headed off to Minnesota with George’s brother William. The group made it to the…

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August 8, 1928: First plane crash in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1928, 30-year-old student pilot Julius Brent of 301 101st First Avenue West—along with two boys, Dale Lyerly and Bruce Kunsman of Superior—crashed L. A. Hoffman’s “borrowed” airplane after the vehicle hit power wires and exploded. Brent and the boys first took off from Superior and, “contrary to regulations and…

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August 7, 1836: Birth of Duluth pioneer Luther Mendenhall

On this day in 1836, future Duluth pioneer Luther Mendenhall was born on a farm in Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Michigan  and served in the Union Army during the Civil War before going to Philadelphia to study law. In the late 1860s he became involved with Jay Cooke’s Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad;…

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August 6, 1918: Police officer John Callahan is shot and killed

On this day in Duluth in 1918, DPD Police officer John Callahan was shot and killed by a burglary suspect he was pursuing in Duluth’s Bowery. Callahan had responded to reports of robberies at two downtown jewelry stores, the first at 1:30 a.m., and had cornered suspect Levi W. Turbell at the corner of 5th…

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August 5, 1856, early pioneer William Epler arrives in Superior

On this day across the bay in 1856, William Epler arrived “afoot and footsore” to the young city of Superior, Wisconsin. Epler had been raised on a farm in Illinois and had walked to Superior on the Old Military Road from St. Croix Falls. Epler later moved across the bay to Portland Township (today Duluth’s…

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August 4, 1891: Bench and Birch Streets become Superior

On this day in Duluth in 1891, city alderman passed an ordinance renaming Bench Street Superior Street and Birch Street Superior Street East. Superior Street was also tweaked, becoming “London Road” at Eight Avenue East. Why? Because between 1877 and 1887, Duluth was a village, and its eastern boundary in 1887 was at 14th Avenue…

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August 2, 1929: Ground broken for Duluth Airport

On this day in Duluth in 1929, Mayor Sam Snively and other officials gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Duluth Airport. The event was part of a three-day parks celebration that included a concert at Leif Erikson Park and the dedication of Skyline Parkway, which had been extended to Jay Cooke State Park. Parks…

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