Building old Central High School, 1890s


The Attic doesn’t have many photos from before the 1950s, but here is one I managed to find. It shows work crews building old Central High School in downtown Duluth. The school opened in 1892, and they’re close to completion in this shot (only the tower looks unfinished), so it probably dates to 1891 or 1892.

It’s quite a construction site, with tons of stoneworkers hard at work. Here are a couple close-up views:

"New" Central High School opened in 1971; "Old" Central High School now houses district offices, among other things. The Duluth school district has more historical information about the building on its Web site.

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Central Mini-Mall, 1979

December 21, 1979

Eleven shops are accommodated in the new Central Mini-Mall. (Karl Jaros / Duluth Herald)

Mini-mall unique addition to West Duluth


The Central Mini-Mall, a complex of 11 small shops on two levels, has opened for business at 324 N. Central Avenue in West Duluth.

The mall, described by one of the occupants, Kay Haugland, as "a quaint new addition to our neighborhood," was converted from an old storage building by K&T Properties, a partnership of Frank Krall of FLK Construction Co. and Orlando Talarico, vice president of Pioneer National Bank. It contains about 3,800 square feet of retail space.

Four of the 11 units are occupied by apparel outlets operated by Kay Haugland. She has taken two units on the first floor for a shop called Jeans-Jeans, which in addition to handling jeans for both men and women has lines of skirts, blouses, hats, belts and purses. On the second level she has opened Dressy Dresses, which sells millinery as well as dresses, and the Men’s Room, a haberdashery.

Associated with Haugland in the operations is Bonnie DeFoe, a graduate of the fashion merchandising program at the Duluth Area Vocational-Technical Institute.

Roberta Willoughby straightens up wreathes at Heather’s in the new Central Mini-Mall. (Karl Jaros / Duluth Herald)


Also on the ground level are Country Craft Plants, operated by Patty Murto; Frank’s Carpet Sales and Heather’s, a diet center which also carries hand-crafted items, operated by Heather Hanson.

On the second floor, besides the shops operated by Haugland, are Harbour Bridal Shop, operated by Shirley Behm, which has taken two spaces, and Lynne Hansen’s Hair Design. One unit remains vacant.

In another development in the same block, on the opposite side of the street, West Town Cafe is remodeling and enlarging into space formerly occupied by a barber shop. The cafe is operated by Florence Soufflet.


This zoomed-in photo shows the sign for the Jeans Jeans store.


Does anyone know any more about the Central Mini-Mall?

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Festival Foods, 2003

September 11, 2003

The exterior of the new Festival Foods store in the Kenwood Shopping Center, September 2003. (Clint Austin / News Tribune)



By Jane Brissett, News Tribune staff writer

Like many shoppers, Nancy Norlen visited Festival Foods to do a little shopping Wednesday, but her real mission was to check out the new store.

Norlen, of Two Harbors, was in Duluth for a dentist appointment. After seeing a Festival ad, she stopped at the new store in the Kenwood Shopping Center and liked what she saw.

"This was just a quick little trip," she said, but there may be others.

It’s the first Festival Foods in Duluth, and shoppers are curious. Even road construction detours and an unfinished parking lot don’t keep them away.

With 47,000 square feet, Festival is a large supermarket that uses volume buying to keep prices low, according to Steve Scrignoli, president of Plaza Holding Co., the store’s owner. He said it differs from some other discount grocery stores because it carries an extensive selection of upscale products.

For example, Festival Foods has an international cheese case, an extensive selection of health foods and specialty diet foods. That’s in addition to more typical items and brand names.

Located at Kenwood Avenue and Arrowhead Road, the store carries 35,000 items, said Larry Fitzsimmons, vice president of Plaza Holding Co. of Duluth. The company owns nine grocery stores, including another Festival Foods in Virginia. The others are Jubilees.

Plaza Holding, which owned the 23,000-square-foot Jubilee store at that site for 10 years, surveyed its costumers, asking what they would like in an upgraded facility.

"This is the result of our efforts," Fitzsimmons said.

Customers can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week, bag their own groceries or not, and roll them to their car in a shopping cart. They can leave the kids at the Tot Spot and watch them on monitors throughout the store. Shoppers can buy take out dinner from a large deli or purchase some of the same items to bake at home.

Nongrocery products also are stocked. The store has a large bakery where everything is prepared onsite, plus a florist section, books, magazines and greeting cards.

Fresh salmon, mussels and swordfish are offered in one meat case and meat prepared with proprietary recipes — such as Burgundy pepper spoon roast, tumbled chicken breasts or lemon pepper pork roast — in another.

The grocery store was created in a yearlong, two-phase construction project involving demolition, construction and expansion of the space formerly occupied by Kenwood Jubilee.

he old store remained open in one half while construction was taking place in the other — and then everything was reversed to complete the multimillion-dollar project.

Festival’s low-price, upscale strategy could provide stiff competition to nearby Mount Royal Fine Foods, at 1600 Woodland Ave. But Mount Royal manager Steve Schadewald is optimistic because he believes they are at different ends of the spectrum.

He called Festival Foods "another big-box concept." Mount Royal, he said, is a full-service grocery store that offers grocery bagging for all customers and a grocery pickup among its services. The store has weathered new-store competition in the past and is likely to fare well against Festival as well, he said, despite its proximity.

"Everybody’s going to see the novelty of the new store," Schadewald said. "It’ll be interesting to see if that becomes part of their daily routine. . . . We’ll know in a couple of months."


The Festival Foods name didn’t last long in Duluth. This store is now a Super One.

There are several Festival Foods locations in the Twin Cities, and more than a dozen in Wisconsin.

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Central State Bank, date unknown

Date unknown

This undated News-Tribune photo shows the Central State Bank, 1336 Commonwealth Ave. in Duluth’s Gary neighborhood. The bank no longer occupies the building (and is no longer a business – it either closed or was acquired by another bank). The building now houses the Puglisi Gun Emporium.

The caption information on the back of the photo doesn’t give the date, but does say that the bank was founded June 1, 1911, was the oldest bank in the Steel Plant district, had assets of $1,419,000 and had the phone number 6-2777.

Two details I noticed…

The name of the building next door is unusual – the "deG Nert Building." Does anyone know more about the name?


Judging by the scowls and postures, I don’t think these two guys were friends.


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Gore stumps for Wellstone, 1996

October 23, 1996

Nearly 4,000 cheered as Vice President Al Gore drummed up support for U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and Rep. Jim Oberstar at a campaign rally Wednesday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)





Vice President Al Gore told Northeastern Minnesotans Wednesday that he and President Clinton will build a bridge to the future with steel from Minnesota iron ore.

But only if Democrats go to the polls Nov. 5 to support their Democratic president and legislators.

During an hourlong campaign rally at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Wednesday morning, Gore hammered away at Republicans and urged Democrats again and again to vote.

Nearly 4,000 people at the DECC loudly cheered on Gore as the vice president pumped his fist and shouted until he was hoarse. Admission was open to the public, but people had to pick up tickets in advance to get in.

Gore was in town for a morning of rallies for Clinton and, most of all, for U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone. Wellstone is in a very tight race for re-election against Republican challenger Rudy Boschwitz.

The vice president gushed over Wellstone.

"I want you to think long and hard about how important it is to Minnesota, to northern Minnesota particularly, but also to the whole United States, to have somebody in the United States Senate who is going to wake up every single morning fighting for you," Gore said.

"There is nothing that is needed more in the United States Senate than an individual with courage and conscience and connection to the working families of northern Minnesota like Paul Wellstone."

Sen. Paul Wellstone speaks to the crowd Wednesday at the DECC’s Pioneer Hall as Vice President Al Gore applauds in the background. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)


Again and again, Gore credited Wellstone and Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-Minn., for creating jobs and reducing poverty.

People in the audience, many of whom were too young to vote, greeted the message with screams and chants, waving hundreds of blue and red Clinton/Gore signs.

Some were there to pitch political support. Others came on class trips — students made up nearly half the crowd.

Still others came out of blatant curiosity. They just wanted to see the man who was second in command.

"He’s great. He’s a comedian," an excited Kathy Winkler said after Gore’s address. "I felt like we were being entertained."

Winkler, who took a day of vacation so she could see the vice president, had also seen Gore during his 1992 campaign visit. He was much more animated this time, she said.

Throughout his speech, the vice president cracked jokes about his stoic and boring reputation and his love of the vice presidency.

He recalled his last trip to the Iron Range when, he said, "it was so cold, people thought I was frozen stiff."

Gore avoided mentioning welfare reform or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, both of which have proven touchy subjects for Wellstone.

Wellstone objected to the welfare bill signed by President Clinton this summer.

And Republicans have gone after Wellstone in television ads for not supporting efforts to expand motorized access to the BWCAW. Wellstone sponsored mediation to reach a compromise on the issue.

The Minnesota Republican Party issued a press release Wednesday claiming Wellstone was "too liberal for Clinton-Gore and too liberal for Minnesota."

At the rally, Gore blasted GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole — a former Senate majority leader — and congressional Republicans for building deficits in the ’80s and trying to cut Medicare, education and workplace safety standards.

And he went after Dole’s 15 percent tax cut plan, calling it a "risky tax scheme" that would raise taxes on working families and balloon the deficit.

Time and again Wednesday, Gore returned to a core message: Come out and vote.

Clinton and Wellstone both hold commanding leads in the polls in Northeastern Minnesota, but DFL leaders want to make sure DFL supporters vote Nov. 5 to offset Boschwitz’s advantage in other parts of Minnesota.

Vice President Al Gore shake hands with supporters after Wednesday’s rally. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)


The attacks and the pleas played well with the crowd of supporters in the DECC’s Pioneer Hall.

Several in the audience said they could see Gore as president in 2000. Some said they liked the vice president better than his boss.

They said he seemed to have better character, deeper convictions and a stronger grasp of what people really want.

"He’s less of a political animal, I think," said Mark Johnson, a 43-year-old planner with St. Louis County.

Another man came up with his own idea for a Democratic presidential ticket in 2000: Gore/Hillary. He wasn’t kidding.

There were few dissenters in the crowd.

A few Boschwitz supporters sneaked in and pasted Boschwitz stickers over a Clinton/Gore sign and waved a Boschwitz T-shirt in front of cameras.

But DECC employees reportedly told a handful of people they could not enter with unapproved signs.

The only real protest occurred outside the DECC. Bayfield resident Walt Bresette doused a copy of Gore’s book on the environment with sulfuric acid. He claimed that Gore had ignored their protests over plans to mine copper with sulfuric acid in White Pine, Mich.

The vice president left for Minneapolis immediately after the rally.


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Kmart, 1975

May 7, 1975

These uncaptioned photos apparently show the grand opening of the Kmart store near the Miller Hill Mall (another photo, not posted here, shows the store under construction in May 1974).

Here is a view of the shoe department (and some impressive organization). The woman in the photo is Diane Curd – it doesn’t say if she is an employee or customer:

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Superior flea market fire, 1998

 May 16, 1998

Children gather on the corner of Broadway Street and Tower Avenue in Superior Saturday evening to watch a downtown building burn. The building, which houses a flea market and antique store, used to hold labor offices and a supermarket. Smoke could be seen from Duluth and other points miles away. Hundreds watched fire destroy the building. Flames had consumed the third floor by the time firefighters arrived, and they turned attention to saving neighboring buildings from damage. (Josh Meltzer / News-Tribune)





Fire destroyed a three-story building in downtown Superior Saturday.

No one was injured in the blaze at Broadway Street and Tower Avenue, but smoke from the huge fire could be seen from Duluth and other points miles away. The structure was a former labor center that has held a flea market in recent years.

Hundreds gathered downtown to watch the fire. The cause was undetermined Saturday night.

"You get an old building like this, anything can happen," said the building’s owner, Mickey Nilsen. He said the Superior Flea Market and an antique store were on the first floor. The top two floors were empty.

Nilsen said he was more worried about the flea market and antiques store owners than his building. He said he was with flea market owner Agnes "Jett" Atkinson when they learned of the fire. Nilsen said he was showing Atkinson a pottery collection in his Superior home.

Atkinson was in tears Saturday as friends tried to console her outside of Willie’s Pub, just feet from the burning building.

Nilsen doubted the flea market was insured.

Little remained of the three-story building on Tower Avenue and Broadway Street in Superior on Monday morning before a wrecking crew began to demolish its remains. The building, destroyed by fire Saturday night, had a long history in Superior, including a 1911 fire that caused $200,000 in damages when it was a department store. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)


The blaze appeared to have started on the third floor, which Nilsen said was empty. High winds fanned the flames, making it impossible for firefighters to extinguish the fire.

Hundreds of small, square windows cracked from the heat, emitting sounds like a giant popcorn popper.

Curious spectators refused to back away from the fire, forcing police officers to cordon off the block. Officers were reportedly forced to issue citations to some persistent fire watchers.

The fire was a big draw. Hundreds of people watched from the street while others parked their cars in a nearby municipal lot and watched as if it were a drive-in movie.

Fire quickly consumed the third floor. Firefighters worked to keep it from spreading across the street to Kari Toyota Jeep-Eagle, while Kari employees rushed to move cars from the dealership’s lot.

Superior was plagued by a series of fires in 1997 that led to the creation of an arson task force. The task force investigated a dozen fires that occurred north of Belknap Street and east of Tower Avenue. They identified one suspect, but the case deteriorated after a judge threw out the suspect’s confession.

Saturday’s fire occurred in the same neighborhood as the 1997 fires, but fire investigators will have to be called in before Superior officials can determine what caused the fire.

Demolition of the building began within days of the fire. Here is some background on the structure from a later article:

The building cost about $65,000 when it was built around 1900 by a group of Chicago speculators. An expansion was added in 1908. From 1900 to 1926 the Roth Brothers had their Bee Hive store there.

On May 24, 1911, a blaze caused roughly $200,000 in damage to the store. That daytime blaze, which began in the partition between the wallpaper and shoe departments, slightly injured two of the store’s 85 employees. Several firefighters were overcome by heat and smoke.

The building later housed offices of the Great Northern Railroad and the AFL-CIO.

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London Road Dairy Queen, 1994

October 14, 1994

Dairy Queen at 17th Avenue East and London Road, October 1994. (Bob King / News-Tribune)

I’ve only known this Dairy Queen as a boarded-up, abandoned graffiti magnet that was down the street from my old apartment – so it was fun to find this photo of it in better days, even if it had closed for the winter when the photo was taken.

Does anyone know when this DQ location closed down?

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First UMD women’s hockey home game, 1999

October 16, 1999

UMD goalie Amanda Tapp (1) gets encouragement from fellow goalie Riana Burke before Friday’s game, the first varsity home game in the first season of UMD varsity women’s hockey. (Derek Neas / News Tribune)





Anita Stech stood at ice level Friday night at the DECC with tears in her eyes. She was caught up in the emotion as Duluth hockey history was made.

Minnesota-Duluth’s women were playing the first varsity home game of their inaugural season against the Finnish junior team. Stech, 50, who grew up in Duluth, has been associated with the Duluth Girls Hockey Association since its formation six years ago and is a past president.

"It was inevitable that this would happen, but with all the barriers that we faced, it is so nice to finally have it here," said Stech, who at one time played hockey on the club level in Minneapolis-St. Paul. "This just reinforces everything that we’ve put into girls hockey. This was the right thing to do at the right time. Every girl out there has to be feeling pretty darn proud."

Finland won the international contest 4-1 before 2,697 on opening night, including many youth and high school girl players. The DGHA has a record-number 70 players age 19 and younger on five teams this season. Some served as banner-carriers during pre-game ceremonies.

They shared Stech’s enthusiasm.

"This is cool because now you can go just as far in women’s hockey as you can in men’s. You don’t have to stop after high school," said Jane Gilbertson, a Holy Rosary seventh-grader, who is a goalie on a Duluth Icebreakers 12-and-under girls team. "Hockey is just as important for girls as it is for boys."

UMD athletic director Bob Corran, chancellor Kathryn Martin, former UMD club player Julie Enberg of Duluth and former club coach Teri Luhm were among those taking part in the ceremonial dropping of the first puck. Jarvenpaa, a Duluth-based choral group, sang the Finnish and American national anthems.

After four road games to open the season, the Bulldogs were ready to be welcomed at the DECC.

"I couldn’t wait to get on the ice. I was shaking while we were waiting for the game to start," said freshman winger Joanne Eustace of Line Torbay, Newfoundland, who was the first recruit of coach Shannon Miller. "This was quite an experience to be on the first team and the crowd was great. They were on their feet a lot of the time.’

With the hoopla over, the Finnish juniors went right to work, scoring twice in the first five minutes. They never trailed.

The team was formed Monday in Helsinki and had just three practices before Friday’s game. Yet, a disciplined, trapping, defensive style overcame UMD’s size and four-game experience.

"A few of us had never seen each other until this week, but it was fun to play and win," said Finnish defender Emma Laaksonen, a 5-foot-4 high school senior from Espoo, who was a 1998 Olympian at age 16. "Duluth was much bigger, but size doesn’t matter so much."

Winger Johanna Koivula got the opening goal at 2:19, to celebrate her 19th birthday, and center Nora Tallus made it 2-0 at 4:51. Winger Satu Hoikkala’s shorthanded breakaway 55 seconds into the second period put Finland up 3-0.

Aided by goalie Heidi Wiik, the Finnish team was every bit the equal of UMD, which features three Olympians. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 5 among U.S. colleges, outshot Finland 33-29.

"One-on-1 against Duluth it was difficult, but we won many 1-on-1 battles. It was to our benefit to be fast," said center Maria Selin, a center on Finland’s 1998 Olympic bronze-medal team.

Fittingly, first-recruit Eustace got UMD’s first goal at the DECC on a power-play score with 4:20 left in the second period. But the Bulldogs could get no more.

They’ll go for their first home win when the teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. today.

"American and Canadian teams never see European trapping like we saw tonight," said UMD’s Miller. "They forecheck and steer you into a corner and trap you. Realistically they’re about one goal better than we are.

"The crowd tried to give us energy, they were behind us, but we didn’t play really well until the third period."

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Soda cans, 1983

March 1983

This News-Tribune photo illustration must have been used for a story on diet soda (I’m guessing the holes in the cans were meant to indicate that some kind of vampire had sucked all the sugar out). I find the picture interesting for the old cans, logos and brand names.

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