You cannot copy content of this page

How Jay Cooke resurrected Duluth’s ‘lifeless corpse’

Duluth in the 1860s had been described as a “lifeless corpse,” and that February 1869 fewer than 200 people lived in town. That’s when financier Jay Cooke announced he would bring his Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad to Duluth instead of Superior, Wisconsin—and that when Duluth rose from the grave to become the Zenith City.…

Read More

Duluth’s first boom—and bust: 1856–1868

As 1856 began, perhaps no other region in the U.S. stood as poised with promise as did the western end of Lake Superior. But by December 1857, more than half the people who lived in Superior and what is now Duluth began fleeing in droves. Why—and what was life in Duluth like in the 1860s?…

Read More

Prohibition on Tap at Ursa Minor February 18

Join us Tuesday, February 18 at 7 p.m. for “Prohibition in the Zenith City,” at Ursa Minor Brewing, part of the brewery’s new Tuesday Talks series. In recognition of the 100-year anniversary of the start of national Prohibition, Zenith City Press publisher Tony Dierckins will be presenting “Prohibition in the Zenith City,” followed by a…

Read More

The Many Birthdays of the Zenith City

Duluth celebrated its centennial in 1956—so how is it we are celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2020? Because of Duluth’s complex early history, that’s why. In fact, Duluth could arguably have six different birthdays. How? Why? Well, you’ll just have to read about it in ZCP publisher Tony Dierckins’s second of eight installments on Duluth’s early…

Read More

Prohibition and Duluth‘s Long, Complicated History of Liquor Laws

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act going into effect, essentially the start of national Prohibition, on January 17, 1920. But by then, Duluth had already been dry for over two years—and when Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Duluthians still couldn’t get a drink. You see, the Zenith City has a long and…

Read More

How Duluth became “Duluth”

Have you ever wondered how Duluth became “Duluth,” the anglicized version of the name of an ambitious and often arrogant 17th-century French soldier? You can find out by reading the article “How Duluth became ‘Duluth’” by Zenith City’s Tony Dierckins, which appeared in the Duluth News Tribune yesterday, Sunday January 12. And when you’re done,…

Read More

2020: A Big Year in Historic—and Notorious—Duluth Anniversaries

A slightly belated welcome to 2020, a year stuffed full of important—and notorious—anniversaries for the Zenith City. This year marks Duluth’s 150th Anniversary of first becoming a city in March 1870. There were many Duluth “firsts” that year, and we will celebrate many of those with our “This Day in Duluth” entries. I’ll also be…

Read More

All Books 25% Off All Winter! Gift Sets 33% Off!

From now until April 2020 all of our books are on sale for 25% off, and if you buy one of our bundles, you’ll save 33%! History Gift Set: All 4 of our illustrated histories for just $65 (Regularly $97) Glensheen Gift Set: All 3 three of our Glensheen-related books for $40  (Regularly $62) Preview…

Read More

ZCP’s Tony Dierckins signing at Bookstore@Fitger’s this Saturday

Zenith City Press publisher Tony Dierckins will be signing copies of his six Duluth history book this Saturday, December 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bookstore@Fitger’s within the Fitger’s Complex. Due to last weekend’s blizzard, Duluth’s homegrown retailers missed out on Small Business Saturday. Here’s your chance to show your support of…

Read More

Duluth: An Urban Biography coming April 2020

Zenith City Press publisher Tony Dierckins has a new book coming out in April 2020—and it won’t be published by Zenith City Press. The good folks at Minnesota Historical Society Press are publishing a series of “urban biographies” of Minnesota’s four largest cities—Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, and Duluth—and Dierckins is writing the Duluth book. It…

Read More