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,”.

July 16, 1891: Damaging storm devastates Duluth & Superior

On this day in Duluth and Superior 1891, heavy storms ripped through both cities. Newspapers reported rainfall totals as “without parallel in Duluth” and mentioned that “for five minutes water fell at the rate of seven feet a day.” The storm began about 2:30 in the afternoon, and between 3:08 and 3:13 let loose with…

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July 15, 1912: Death of former Duluth mayor J. B. Sutphin

On this day in 1912, pioneer Duluthian J. B. Sutphin died in the home of his son Ralph at 318 Third Avenue West, after a long illness. A native of New Jersey, Sutphin had arrived in Duluth in about 1872, when he was just twenty years old. He started out by trading along Lake Superior’s…

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July 14, 1906: First car trip from Twin Cities to Duluth

On this day in 1906, J. M. Arnold became the first person to travel in an automobile from the twin Cities to Duluth, taking seventeen hours and fifteen minutes to get to the Zenith City from Minneapolis. His route took him, for the most part, through Wisconsin, first heading to St. Paul, on to Stillwater,…

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July 13, 1887: First Duluth Boat Club facility opens

On this day in 1878, the Duluth Boat Club—organized just over a year earlier—opened its first facility at Slip #1 in the harbor, located between Sixth and Seventh Avenues West (roughly where the stage of Bayfront Festival Park stands today). The Duluth Daily News raved that the Club’s first reception was the “social event of…

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July 12, 1910: Tourists stop in Duluth to sample exotic cocktails

On this day in 1910, the Duluth News Tribune reported that a group of tourists on their way to Yellowstone Park stopped in Duluth to sample two new cocktails being served in the Zenith City’s “prominent hotels.” The drinks, the paper claimed, were sure to “add the fame of Duluth west, east, north and south.”…

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July 11, 1941: The NorShor Theatre opens

On this day in 1941, the NorShor Theatre opened for the first time, showing Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in Caught in the Draft, a war comedy theatre manager Earl Long promised had been “shattering box office records on its first runs in New York and Chicago.” Long also made sure the newspaper reported that…

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July 10 1909: Fire consumes Duluth’s Virginia & Rainy Lake Lumber Mill

On this day in Duluth in 1909, fire destroyed the yards of the Virginia & Rainy Lake Lumber Mill on Grassy Point, consuming 18 million board feet of lumber—the entire season’s work—waiting to be shipped to market. The lumber was estimated to be worth $475,000—nearly $13 million in today’s dollars—and most of it had already…

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July 9, 1909: Penny Arcades corrupt souls

On this day in 1909, a Duluth pastor called penny shows an “agent of evil” and claimed that in Duluth, more souls are lost through its influence in a day than the church could save in a month. The unnamed pastor had toured the “Penny Arcade” along Superior Street between First and Second Avenues West…

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July 8, 1918: Death of Duluth pioneer Edwin Hall

On this day in Duluth in 1919, pioneer Edwin Hall died in his home on Regent Street. Hall, a native of New York City, first came to Duluth from St. Paul in January, 1855, walking from St. Paul with a group of men that included Dr. William Mayo, whose sons would create Rochester’s Mayo Clinic.…

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July 7, 1929: Naniboujou Resort Opens on the North Shore

On this day in 1929, five Duluth businessmen (including R. D. Handy, a postcard publisher and former Duluth News Tribune cartoonist) opened the Naniboujou Lodge, a private and quite grand sportsman’s getaway fifteen miles northeast of Grand Marais along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The lodge takes its name from Nanaboozoo (“trembling tail”), a…

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