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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,”.

October 29, 1856: The side wheeler Superior wrecks on Lake Superior

On this day on Lake Superior in 1856, the 184-foot, 646-ton wooden sidewheel steamer Superior was dashed to pieces at Lake Superior’s Picture Rocks, east of Munising on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Over forty-five lives were lost. First reports said that 35 people had perished and 19 were saved, but subsequent reports increased the casualty list.…

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October 28: 1905: Washburn Elementary School dedicated in Hunters Park

On this day in Duluth in 1905, officials dedicated Washburn Elementary School at 201 West St. Andrews Street in Hunter’s Park. The school, designed by Duluth architects Frederick German and Anton Lignell, was named for prominent Duluth Jed Washburn, a resident of Hunters Park. Other official were also lived in the neighborhood, including community founder…

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October 27, 1919: Duluth police arrest the wrong man twice in one day

On this day in 1919, Duluth police arrested the wrong man in Cloquet—and may have arrested another innocent man along St. Croix Avenue. Clara Lundstrom had complained to Duluth police that a man named “John Johnson” had assaulted her, blackening her eye and “otherwise behaving unlike a gentleman.” So Duluth’s recently appointed Police Chief John…

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October 26, 1846: Birth of Marshall H. Alworth

On this day in 1846, Marshall H. Alworth was born in Oneida County, New York. He left home at age fourteen to work on the Great Lakes and eventually became a land and timber explorer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. He was in Duluth as early as 1873 but left after the financial…

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October 23, 1918: Duluthian Conrad Johnson shot down over France

On this day over the Argonne Forest in France, Duluthian Conrad Johnson was shot down by enemy fire and perished. Johnson, who grew up at 2615 West Third Street, was a Duluth Central graduate who enlisted in the Army when the U.S. entered World War I. After basic training at Fort Snelling, Johnson was trained…

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October 21, 1932: Death of Duluth architect Oliver Traphagen

On this day in 1932, former Duluth resident—and arguably its premier architect from 1886 to 1896—Oliver Green Traphagen died in Alameda, California, where he was living in retirement. Traphagen was born in Tarryton, New York, in 1854 and began his career in Minnesota in the 1870s, when he moved to St. Paul and found work…

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October 20, 1882: One Duluth brownstone quarryman assaults another

On this day in Duluth in 1882, the Duluth News Tribune reported that brownstone quarryman Martin Boyle assaulted brownstone quarry owner Michael Chambers while aboard a Northern Pacific train between Duluth and Fond du Lac. While the inspiration for the attack was not given, the report stated that, “Boyle grabbed Chambers by the beard and…

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