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 6, 1885: Minnesota Point Lighthouse shuts down

On this day in Duluth in 1885, operation of the 1858 Minnesota Point Lighthouse ceased. Built to guide mariners through the Superior Entry (the convergence of the Nemadji and St. Louis rivers between Minnesota and Wisconsin Point), the structure had problems from the start: it leaked, and the plaster covering its bricks fell off in…

Read More

August 5, 1893: Death of Duluth Parks visionary William K. Rogers

On this day in 1893, Duluth parks visionary William King Rogers died in his home in Chicago. Rogers, who served as President Rutherford B. Hayes’s private secretary, is credited with the plan for Duluth’s park system to build corridor parks along the streams and rivers that flowed down Duluth’s hillside and connect them with boulevards…

Read More

August 3, 1891: Grand opening of Duluth’s Lyceum Theatre

On this day in Duluth in 1891, the Lyceum Theatre—designed by renown Duluth architect Oliver Traphagen and his partner Francis Fitzpatrick—opened at  423 West Superior Street. The Duluth News-Tribune called the structure the “handsomest and costliest building in all the Northwest” and “the temple of the muses.” Operatic soprano Emma Abbott performed that opening night,…

Read More

August 2, 1965: Unionists bomb construction office on Rice’s Point

On this day in Duluth in 1965, a bomb exploded causing heavy damage to a house trailer used as the temporary headquarters of the Ryan Construction Company of Janesville, Wisconsin. The explosion occurred at 2:40 when the building was empty, and no one was injured—and it was the fifth bomb incident involving the company. The…

Read More

August 1, 1870: Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad completed

On this day in 1870 in Thompson, Minnesota, at eleven minutes past 8 p.m., the last spike was driven into the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. Hundreds of laborers on hand for the event broke into cheers—they had been working double shifts to meet the August 1 deadline. At 11:30 that same evening, the first…

Read More

July 31, 1884: First Ore from Vermilion Range

On this day in 1884, the Duluth and Iron Range Railway’s first locomotive, the Three Spot, delivered the first load of ore from the Soudan Mine on Charlemagne Tower’s Vermilion Iron Range to a new ore dock at Agate bay (later Two Harbors). The locomotive pulled just ten cars carrying 220 tons of iron ore…

Read More

July 30, 1881: Birth of Emil Olson

On this day in 1881, future Duluthian Emil Olson was born in Minnesota’s Chippewa County. In 1902, when he was just twenty-one years old, Olson struck out for Duluth with Norwegian immigrant Hagbert “Bert” J. Enger and together the two purchased a small stock of furniture in the Zenith City and set up shop at…

Read More

July 29, 1848: Birth of future Duluth Mayor Trevanion W. Hugo

On this day in Duluth in 1848, future Duluth Mayor Trevanion W. Hugo was born at Bodinnoc, Cornwall, England. He grew up in Kingston, Ontario, where he studied to be an engineer and parlayed that education into a job as a marine engineer working on vessels that sailed the Great Lakes. His  work brought him…

Read More

July 28, 1923: Duluth joins the National Football League

On this day in Duluth in 1923, Marshall C. Gerbert, manager of the sporting goods department of Duluth’s Kelly hardware, and three others ponied up $250 each for the $1,000 admission fee to enter a team in the National Football League. The Kelley-Duluth team would wear red and white jerseys supplied by the hardware store…

Read More