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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,”.

June 26, 1894: Cornerstone laid for new Board of Trade Building

On this day in Duluth in 1894, Duluth’s Masons laid the cornerstone for the second Board of Trade Building at 301–307 West First Street “with all the circumstance incident to the Masonic ritual.” The day’s event started at three p.m. with a horse-drawn carriages bringing dignitaries to the Masonic Temple. At four p.m. a procession…

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June 24, 1977: Marjorie Congdon Caldwell has her “will” notarized

On this day in 1977, former Duluthian Marjorie Caldwell received $3,000 for pawning jewelry and then had a hand-written “will” notarized. The will gave her second husband Roger Caldwell her share of her grandfather Chester Congdon’s estate upon the death of his daughter Elisabeth, Marjorie’s adoptive mother—regardless of divorce or her children. It was dated…

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June 23, 1911: First Swedish-American Festival held at Lincoln Park 

On this day in Duluth in 1911, Lincoln Park hosted Duluth’s first Swedish-American Midsummer Festival, which became the park’s signature annual event. According to Duluth historian Nancy Nelson, “all the Swedish societies of the city joined together to create a celebration similar to the traditional Midsummer Fests they knew in Sweden. The News Tribune estimated…

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June 22, 1893: Jay Cooke visits Duluth for the last time

On this day in Duluth in 1893, Philadelphia financier Jay Cooke visited Duluth for the fourth and final time. In the 1860s Cooke’s investments in Duluth spurred its first great population boom and helped turn a scattering of townsites into a city—historians would later write that “the lifeless corpse of Duluth…touched by the wand of…

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June 21, 1864: Death of Robert Miller, namesake of Miller Creek

On this day in 1864, Pennsylvania native Robert Miller, namesake of Duluth’s Miller Creek, died in Vicksburg, Tennessee. According to Duluth historian Heidi Bakk-Hansen, Miller was counted in Duluth’s first official census in 1860. He was 42 years old, lived alone, and reported his property—which was between Miller Creek and Coffey Creek—as worth $1,000 (about…

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June 20, 1884: Formation of Duluth’s National Guard

On this day in Duluth in 1884, according to historian Dwight E. Woodbridge and John Pardee, “a number of the younger citizens, devoted to the preservation, protection and defense of their country and state, as well as the manly bearing they would derive from strictly military discipline, met and organized into the Duluth Guards.” The…

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June 19, 1971: Death of Duluth power boat legend Gar Wood

On this day in 1971, renowned powerboat racer and native Duluthian Gar Wood died in Florida. He was born Garfield Arthur Wood on December 4, 1880, in Mapleton, Iowa, and moved to Duluth with his parents in 1890 after his father Walter was hired by the Lakeside Land Company, which developed what is today Duluth’s…

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June 18, 1887: Duluth pitcher strikes out 18 in a row

On this day in Duluth in 1887, Mark “Fido” Baldwin, a 22-year-old pitcher from Pittsburgh, struck out 18 batters from St. Paul’s team, including 12 in a row. The 1887 Duluth team, nicknamed the “Jayhawks” by sports historians, was the city’s first professional baseball team and played on a diamond on Rice’s Point that included…

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June 17, 1910: Duluth’s Holland House Hotel opens

On this day in Duluth in 1910 the Holland House Hotel opened at 501 West Superior Street. Designed by Duluth architects Bray & Nystrom, the six-story Holland Hotel’s opening was timed with that of the Soo Line Passenger Depot one block east of the hotel, which essentially brought out-of-town visitors to the hotel’s front door.…

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