Every Wednesday in February Glensheen presents Zenith City On Tap, a series of hour-long talks on the history of Duluth by author and historian Tony Dierckins. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7. Local beer and wine available. Zenith City will also be selling books associated with each talk at deeply discounted prices
February 7: “From Opera to Movies: Duluth’s Historic Theaters”
From the 1868 birth of “theatre” in Duluth to the 2018 renovation of the NorShor, Duluth has had a long traditional of building fabulous theaters to showcase local and national talent. This presentation reaches beyond the architecture and introduces audiences to the civic leaders—and scoundrels—associated with them and explains how their demise was brought on by the advent of the movie house, including Duluth’s iconic NorShor Theatre.
February 14: “The Twin Ports’ Long Love Affair with Beer”
Both Duluth and Superior starting brewing beer back in 1859, and sales of ale kept both fledgling communities alive during early financial crises. Pioneer breweries popped up on both sides of the St. Louis River between the Civil War and 1910, when four major breweries had risen above the rest. In this talk, Dierckins shares stories of the Twin Ports’ pioneer brewers from ZCP’s forthcoming book “Naturally Brewed, Naturally Better: The Historic Breweries of Duluth and Superior.”
February 21: “Financing the Fortune that Built Glensheen”
After John D. Rockefeller essentially stole the Mesabi Iron Range holdings of West Duluth’s Merritt family in 1894, Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Henry Oliver—with his partner Chester Congdon—battled over the Iron Range. The battle ended when J. P. Morgan formed U. S. Steel, which also created the fortune that financed the construction of Duluth’s Glensheen, the home Congdon and his wife Clara built on the Lake Superior shore.
February 28: “From Stone to Steel: Twin Ports’ Pioneer Industries”
Both sides of the St. Louis River between Duluth and Superior were once lined with ore docks, coal docks, lumber mills, flour mills, grain terminals, ship-building centers and metal manufacturing plants. From Fond du Lac’ early brownstone quarries of to Morgan Park’s giant Minnesota Steel Plant, this presentation explains the rise and demise of the industries that built the Twin Ports and created Duluth’s East-West divide.