June 25, 1890: Dedication of the Temple Opera Block

On this day in Duluth in 1890, Duluthians celebrated the dedication of the Temple Opera Block at 201–205 East Superior Street along with the Temple Opera House at 8–12 Second Avenue East with a banquet and ball. Members of Duluth’s masonic Palestine and Ionic Lodges were in attendance. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the masons and their wives donned “elaborate and elegant” costumes and after dinner, besides dancing, “the Episcopalians and a few others spent their time playing a few innocent games of cards, and some of the hard-shelled Baptists whiled several hours over the more innocent games of checkers and backgammon.” Charter member [Walter] Van Brunt took charge of the arrangements, [William] Patton headed up the welcoming committee, Grand Master [and former mayor] Colonel C. H. Graves made a speech, and Reverend Barker gave the invocation. The Mason had previously been housed in a wooden structure at the same location, and when Duluth’s Grand Opera House was destroyed by fire in January 1889, the Masons decided to include an opera house to their new facility. Both the Temple Opera Block and the Temple Opera House received warm welcomes from Duluth, but the office block would serve Duluth’s Masons for less than fifteen years, the opera house just six. Read a history of the Temple Opera Block here and the Temple Opera House here.

The Temple Opera Block and Temple Opera House photographed between 1890 and 1895. (Image: Duluth Public Library)