You’ve no-doubt noticed the website looks quite different today. But you may not have noticed that for the past few years webmeister Dan Turner has essentially been keeping Zenith City Online online with the digital equivalent of duct tape and chewing gum. And now Dan is heading to Northwestern University to get his Ph.D. in linguistics, so he can’t go on fixing the site every few days.
So we decided to rebuild the website—from the ground up. Along the way we redesigned how we celebrate historic Duluth and Western Lake Superior so we could deliver more history every day.
You’ll find your daily This Day in Duluth right at the top of the home page—and now you can read the whole story without clicking off the page. I have completed 730 This Day stories (two years worth!) but some of you have read them each twice. So starting today I will be working on a new batch of 365 more (and we’ll load each month’s previous posts to the “This Day” archive as we go).
Right next to This Day you’ll find our News & Events post, which you are reading right now. This will be used to announce book- and history-related events, when we’ve added a new story to the archive, and other items related to regional history.
Below the This Day and News & Events posts you’ll find a consolidated and reorganized Zenith City Press Archive. The archive now only delivers stories straight out of Zenith City Press books or those written by Zenith City Online contributors—and each time you visit the home page it loads a random selection from the archive. We have 750 stories in eight categories, so you could visit once a day for over two years and not read the same story twice (and that doesn’t include the This Day stories).
Some pieces didn’t make the conversion. We’ve omitted articles that came from other books, such as entries from 1910 and 1922 histories of Duluth & St. Louis County. But we’ve included access to digital, searchable versions of those books and added access to other digital regional history resources as well.
Nearly all of the stories created for Zenith City Online made the conversion, with two exceptions. Anthony Bush’s historic professional baseball and high school basketball stories are moving to his own site, which will cover the history of local sports (we’ll let you know when it goes live) and Jim Heffernan is republishing all forty of his Zenith City stories about growing up in the West End on his blog, here. Unfortunately we were not able to migrate reader comments to the new site. Comments on the new site will be limited to News & Events posts to make things easier to moderate. You can visit our Facebook page to leave comments or ask questions about that day’s This Day post.
Finally, you’ll find the Zenith City Press Bookstore on the home page as well, right below the archive. Clicking a book’s cover takes you to a page where you can preview (and yes, purchase!) the book.
Here’s what you won’t find: ads. Selling ads kept us from doing what we do best: making books. So if you appreciate what we do and want to support us, it’s simple: buy a book or two by Zenith City Press, either online (preferably direct from us!) or from one of the many retailers in Duluth and elsewhere who support us by selling our books.
Speaking of books, we currently have several in the hopper. Duluth’s Historic Parks releases next week and Naturally Brewed Naturally Better: The Historic Breweries of Duluth & Superior, is currently in the writing stage. Jeff Lemke is pulling together a Twin Ports Rail History book, and Maryanne Norton and I are still slowly working away at Duluth’s Grand Old Buildings. Meanwhile, Heidi Bakk-Hansen hasn’t stopped working on the two books she is preparing for Zenith City Press. Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoy this new format. Thank you, Dan Turner, for all your hard work keeping us online. And thanks to the many readers who have offered us kind words of support since we started this in May 2012 and those who helped us spread the word about our book events. With your ongoing support we will continue celebrating historic Duluth and Western Lake Superior by writing more stories and making more books.
— Tony Dierckins, Publisher
This Wednesday is the first Zenith City on Tap at Glensheen for 2017. I’ll be presenting on the life of the Aerial Transfer Bridge. This is a free event, with beer and wine available. Look for a post Tuesday morning with more details.