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,”.

February 19, 1898: Superior’s Klinkert Brewing Reorganized as Northern Brewing

On this day across the bay in 1898, the Superior Inter-Ocean declared that “The old Klinkert Brewing Company has been entirely reorganized under the name Northern Brewing Company.” Founders John Klinkert and Louis Rueping had established Klinkert Brewing in 1890 after closing down their Red River Valley Brewing Company in Fargo after North Dakota became…

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February 18, 1941: Fire at the Moose Lodge destroys building, injures 7

On this day in Duluth in 1941, a fire destroyed the Moose Lodge and injured seven people on a night when temperatures reached 21 degrees below zero. The five-story building at 418–420 West Superior Street stood between the Spalding Hotel and the Manhattan Block. It was built in 1903 by Theodore and Frank Frerker for…

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February 17, 1914: The last days of West Duluth’s Last Chance Saloon 

On this day in Duluth in 1914, residents of West Duluth endured the battle of the Last Chance Saloon. The previous December, Safety Commissioner John Hicken refused to renew the liquor licenses of two West Duluth saloons as part of his policy to reduce the number of drinking establishments in the Zenith City. Hicken specifically…

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February 16, 1905 Death of Jay Cooke

On this day in 1905, pioneering Duluth benefactor Jay Cooke died in Philadelphia. Cook was born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1821. Cooke made his fortune with the E. W. Clark Banking House in Philadelphia before setting up his own banks in 1858. Cooke and his agents travelled to Europe to sell most of the $2…

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February 15, 1947: Death of optician and author Thomas Shastid

On this day in Duluth in 1947, eighty-year-old optician and author Dr. Thomas Shastid, once called “America’s forgotten historian of ophthalmology,” died at St. Luke’s Hospital. Shastid grew up in Pittsfield, Illinois, where his grandfather was friends with Abraham Lincoln. By the time he arrived in Duluth in 1908, he had graduated Harvard Medical School…

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February 14, 1909: Dedication of Glen Avon Presbyterian Church

On this day in Duluth in 1909, church officials dedicated the brand new Glen Avon Presbyterian Church at 2105 Woodland Avenue. Local Presbyterian clergyman helped Glen Avon’s Rev. J. C. Faries with the proceedings. Faries gave the sermon, Rev. M. S. Rise the invocation, Rev. J. S. Kirtley the response, and Rev. Campbell Coyle the…

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February 13, 1886: First meeting of the Old Settlers Association

On this day in Duluth in 1886, a number of Duluth and Superior pioneers formed the Old Settlers Association of the Head of Lake Superior. George R. Stuntz, Horace Saxton, S. Wakelin, F. LaMargie, Waterman Green, Dr. Vespasian Smith, James D. Ray, E. W. Wakelin, C. L. Saxton, J. D. Howard, Geo. E. Wheeler, S.…

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February 12, 1893: Duluth Society Men Condemn Crinoline and Hoop Skirts

On the day in Duluth in 1893, the Duluth News Tribune reported that local “Society men” had condemned the wearing of crinoline and hoop  skirts. The fashion trend of hoop skirts made from crinoline (a combination of horse hair and linen) peaked in the 1870s, but it threatened to return in the 1890s and those Duluth…

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February 11, 1912: Art gallery opens within Orpheum Theatre

On this day in Duluth in 1912, an art gallery opened within Duluth’s premier vaudeville theatre, the Orpheum. Newspapers reported the gallery held forty-two original paintings valued at more than $20,000 (over $500,000 today). The gallery was located in the theatre’s upper corridor and lounging rooms. More than 1,000 patrons “inspected the pictures” on opening day.…

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February 10, 1917: Birth of Superior siren Dorothy Blaine

On this day across the bay in 1917, Dorothy O’Kash—future club singer Dorothy Blaine—was born into a rough-and-tumble family living in the rooms above the Blue Moon, her parents’ bar on North Third Street in Superior’s notorious waterfront district. According to biographer Judith Liebaert, “Dorothy’s only notoriety in Superior circles today is as the eccentric…

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