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,”.

September 14, 1907: Maiden voyage of the ore boat Ward Ames

On this day in Duluth in 1907, the ore boat Ward Ames departed Duluth on its maiden voyage, carrying 10,101 gross tons of iron ore—lighter than her capacity due to the shallowness of some of the rivers that connected the Great Lakes at the time. The Ames was the third vessel built by the Acme…

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September 13, 2006: Duluth parks commission accepts “Historical Park”

On this day in Duluth in 2006, the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission voted in support of accepting the title to Historical Park from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and perpetually dedicated it as official park land. Historical Park has the unique distinction of being one of Duluth’s newest parks, but with the…

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September 12, 1895: Hundreds of Hoo-Hoo descend on Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1895, hundreds of Hoo-Hoo arrived at Duluth’s Union Station on a special train of the St. Paul & Duluth Railroad where they were greeted by the shouts of their fellow Duluth kittens. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine! By the tail of the Great Black Cat,…

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September 11, 1875: Minnesotian-Herald begins publication

On this day in Duluth in 1875, the Minnesotian-Herald—a weekly newspaper—printed its first edition. Its proprietors were Edward and Clarence Foster, sons of Dr. Thomas Foster, who moved his St. Paul Minnesotian newspaper to Duluth, altered its name, and gave a speech first naming Duluth “The Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas.” But the Panic…

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September 9, 1861: Locomotive Wm. Crooks arrives in Minnesota

On this day in 1861, the Wm. Crooks, the first steam locomotive to serve on a Minnesota railroad—and a fixture of Duluth’s Lake Superior Railroad Museum—arrived in Minnesota. The engine was made for the Minnesota & Pacific Railroad, founded in 1857 as the state’s first railroad and the original predecessor of the Great Northern Railway.…

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September 8, 1976: Fire destroys Duluth’s historic Coolerator plant No. 2

On this day in Duluth in 1976, the former Coolerator Plant at the foot of Commonwealth Avenue was destroyed by fire. The building was first constructed in 1890 to house the Atlas Iron & Brass Works. In 1935 it became Coolerator’s second manufacturing facility. Coolerator had grown out of the Duluth Showcase Company, established in…

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September 6, 1902: Death of Fish Hatchery founder Robert Sweeney

On this day in Duluth in 1902, Dr. Robert Ormsby Sweeney—the man who established the Lester River Fish Hatchery—in 1888, died in his home next to the hatchery. Born a Philadelphia Quaker, Sweeney came to Minnesota territory in 1852 as a trained pharmacist who considered himself an artist by occupation. A pioneer settler of St.…

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