Franklin Square: Once a cemetery, now a lot for tots

[NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on September 9, 2020] This month Ted B. of Duluth asks Northlandia, “What’s the history of the cemetery that once stood on the current Tot Lot site on Minnesota Point?” That’s a great question to dig into during the month that ends with Halloween. The…

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Park Point and Minnesota Point are not synonymous

  [NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on September 9, 2020] This past July the Duluth News Tribune ran a story about efforts to bolster the sand beach along Minnesota Point south of the Duluth Ship Canal. The headline read “Work begins to heal Park Point’s shoreline.” Similarly, a recent story…

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How Duluth’s creeks got their names

NOTE: This was originally published as a “Northlandia’ column in the Duluth News Tribune on August 5, 2020. Original posting here. Special thanks to Heidi Bakk-Hansen, who previous work for Zenith City Online tracing local place names (linked to below) has greatly informed this article.]   Cathy P. of Duluth asks, “I know who Chester…

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How innocuous are Duluth’s historic white-guy statues?

Note: This article was written by Zenith City Press publisher as a “Local View” for the Duluth News Tribune and was first published online on July 6, 2020, and in print on July 7, 2020.   I always enjoy reading my friend Jim Heffernan’s columns in the Duluth News Tribune, which often take me back…

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Duluth: Legendary City of the Unsalted Seas

The following story—adapted from Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography (Minnesota Historical Society Press, April 2020)—was first published in the Duluth News Tribune in April, 2020, in celebration of Duluth’s 150th anniversary of first becoming a city on March 6, 1870. ___________ The legend of the digging of Duluth’s ship canal, that 100 stout men…

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Digging the Canal: Duluth’s Defining Creation Myth

The following story—adapted from Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography (Minnesota Historical Society Press, April 2020)—was first published in the Duluth News Tribune in April, 2020, in celebration of Duluth’s 150th anniversary of first becoming a city on March 6, 1870. ___________ The initial digging of Duluth’s ship canal was fairly simple. The steam-powered dredging…

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1870: Duluth’s First Year as a City

The following story—adapted from Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography (Minnesota Historical Society Press, April 2020)—was first published in the Duluth News Tribune in March, 2020, in celebration of Duluth’s 150th anniversary of first becoming a city on March 6, 1870. ___________ In 1870, its first year as a city, Duluth—destined to become the “Zenith…

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Joshua B. Culver: Duluth’s First Mayor and Leader of “The Ring”

The following story—adapted from Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography (Minnesota Historical Society Press, April 2020)—was first published in the Duluth News Tribune in March, 2020, in celebration of Duluth’s 150th anniversary of first becoming a city on March 6, 1870. ___________ When Duluth first became a city on March 6, 1870, it stretched roughly…

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How Jay Cooke Resurrected Duluth’s “Lifeless Corpse”

The following story—adapted from Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography (Minnesota Historical Society Press, April 2020)—was first published in the Duluth News Tribune in February, 2020, in celebration of Duluth’s 150th anniversary of first becoming a city on March 6, 1870. ___________ In 1869 journalist John Trowbridge wrote that “civilization is attracted to the line…

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