June 14, 1977: Death of Harry Zinsmaster

On this day in 1977, Duluth businessman and baker Harry Zinsmaster died at the age of 92 at Minneapolis’s Northwestern Hospital. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Zinsmaster came to Duluth after graduating Amherst College. He started the Zinsmaster Bread Co. in Duluth in 1913, expanding to St. Paul in 1918 and Minneapolis in 1928. He expanded again in 1931, acquiring Hol-Ry Co. The Zinmaster building at 2831 West Superior St. later became home to Metz Baking Company, which closed in 1980. Peerless Autobody then took over the building. A disgruntled customer destroyed the building with an arson fire in 2010. Harry Zinsmaster was an active mason and a director of the Shriners’ Hospital for Crippled Children in St. Paul and also served as a director of Duluth’s First National Bank, the Northern Pacific Railway, the national Association of Manufacturers, and the American Baker’s Society. he served as chairman of the American Bakers Association and as trustees for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Committee for Economic Development. He was also a member of the Kitchi Gammi Club and the Duluth Athletic Club and several Twin Cities social clubs. He and his wife once lived at 2 Hawthorne Road, the corner of Hawthorne Road and Superior Street. The home was used as a setting for scenes in the 1988 Jessica Lange movie Far North, which is set in Duluth.

Duluth’s Zinsmaster Bread Company. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)