Archive Dive: Duluth’s Decline and Adaptation (1956–1987)

The Classy Lumberjack was a typical Bowery establishment by the 1950s. When it was demolished it’s liquor license—and 12 others within the Bowery—were redistributed throughout the city. to avoid creating another Bowery. (Image: Greg Mattson)

This week’s archive dive presents the fourth chapter of Zenith City Press publisher Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography, winner of the 2020/2021 Northeast Minnesota Book Award. Titled ”Duluth’s Decline and Adaptation (1956–1987)” the excerpt explains how Duluth navigated Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the brief boom that followed the conflagration before post-war decline set in. This passage includes some eye-opening information about members of the Duluth branch of the Ku Klux Klan. Click the links below to read all three sections of chapter 6 from Duluth: An Urban Biography.

Duluth’s Industrial Decline (1956–1993)

The Expansion of Interstate 35 through Duluth (1960–1987)

Duluth’s Gateway Urban Renewal Program

Early Tourism & Environmental Efforts (1960–1974)