Photo Mystery Solved… And Other Odds And Ends

Here is a copy of a News Tribune Attic “print edition” column that appears in today’s paper. It provides the answer to the crime scene mystery photo from a few weeks back, as well as catching up on a few other odds and ends from past print columns….

News Tribune Attic readers helped identify the men in this photo… read on to learn more. (News Tribune file photo)

Over the past few months I’ve tossed out a few questions about old photos and stories from the News Tribune archives. Now, I’ll share what I’ve heard back from readers.

We’ll start with the most recent question, which resulted in the most definitive answer. On May 15 I ran a photo showing a crime scene, with what appeared to be law enforcement officers examining a bullet.

Readers Sandra Sterling and Tess Thorstad both e-mailed that the man on the right looked like Alfred Senarighi, who had worked for the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office (he’s Thorstad’s father).

Senarighi’s name jogged my memory — I vaguely remembered seeing it months earlier, in the captions for a folder of old crime scene photos. And sure enough, the lone “mystery photo” was part of that larger file; it had been separated years, possibly even decades ago.

So what does the photo show? It’s the aftermath of a triple-murder at a farmhouse near Floodwood in November 1953. At the scene in the early morning hours are, from left, St. Louis County Sheriff Sam Owens; William Dinkel of the sheriff’s criminal investigation staff; and Senarighi, then a deputy sheriff.

Owens served as sheriff from 1931 until 1967. An interesting side note — Owens was appointed St. Louis County sheriff after a judge ruled that the winner of the 1930 election, Emil Erickson, was not an American citizen, and was disqualified from holding office. He had been born in Norway and never was naturalized.

As I was pulling that information together, a note arrived from reader Glen Kartin, naming all the men in the photo, and correctly identifying the date and place. Thanks to all who helped put that mystery to rest.


Unlike the first mystery photo, the exact date and location of this picture remains a mystery. (News Tribune file photo)

Abandoned houses photo

There were quite a few responses to the mystery photo of a man looking at abandoned houses that ran with this column on March 6.

Unfortunately, no one could offer a definitive identification of where the photo was taken.

There remain two main camps of opinion on the location of the photo, both based on the idea that it’s a picture of homes being razed for the construction of Interstate 35 through the western and central parts of Duluth.

A slight majority of responses placed the photo near the corner of 51st Avenue West and Bristol Street in West Duluth. Several other readers said they believed it’s from the vicinity of 27th Avenue West and Helm Street.

Reader Denise Johnson of Superior said she thought the photo was from the Bristol Street area. She sent some nice recollections of her childhood in that neighborhood — memories that may resonate with some of you, too:

“I grew up on 63rd Avenue West, above Bristol Street. My siblings and I, along with the neighborhood kids, often watched the workers leveling homes and building I-35. I remember feeling such sadness, as they tore down homes and changed the landscape of our beloved neighborhood. The area where I-35 crosses 63rd Ave. West, traveling back to where the train tracks used to be along Green Street, was a children’s dreamland playground. There were fields of wild flowers and every type of fruit tree and bush, you could imagine. …

“I remember vividly the timeframe during which they tore the houses below Bristol Street down. A huge barn owl decided to make a temporary home in our backyard. As a child, I was in awe of its size. My mother allowed the owl to live in our yard, until it moved on. She told us that it probably had been living in one of the abandoned homes below Bristol Street. It chose our yard as a pit stop on its journey to find a new
home. …

“When the workers began hauling in truckloads of fill to build the massive hill off of 63rd Avenue West and Bristol Street, our playfield was lost to us. Being resilient kids, we found one benefit in that large mass of fill. That hill made a great slope for our sleds and toboggans. …

“Along 63rd, below the freeway overpass, a new sidewalk was laid after the completion of I-35. I walked down to watch the workers, asking them if I could please put my name, and siblings’ names, in the sidewalk. I was given permission to put our initials, not our full names, in the corner of one square of concrete. The workers smiled as I took a stick and etched, with pride, our initials into the fresh concrete. Years later, as an adult, I traveled back to the old neighborhood. I walked the same section of sidewalk, finding our initials buried under 30+ years of dirt.

“I don’t know who the gentleman is in the photo. I see a sadness in his posture. Perhaps, he is reminiscing about his pre-I-35 childhood, as I am now.”

Ely Bottling Works

After an archive story and photo about the Ely Bottling Works ran March 13, several readers shared their memories about the soda factory and its owner, Charlie Lampi. Some readers also sent photos of Ely Bottling Works bottles and memorabilia, including these:

Shirley Shusta of Ely sent this photo of a Jacob Lampi (Jacob was Charlie’s dad) bottle with an attached pumping apparatus. It’s standing atop a Kist Beverages box; Kist was the company from which Charlie Lampi bought his soda flavor extracts.

Mary Jackman Sanders sent photos of a similar bottle – only it was etched with the name John Jackman, her great-grandfather and the man who started the Ely Bottling Works. Jackman sold the business to the Lampi family.


Kurt Soderberg sent a photo of a different style of Ely Bottling Works bottle that he has:


And Dan Anderson of Cloquet, who grew up in Ely, sent these photos of a vintage bottle opener:

Anderson shared some childhood memories of the Ely Bottling Works:

“I passed the ‘Works every day on my walk to school and I always thought it was a cool building. There was always activity and I remember the rattle of the pop cases being loaded onto the truck on the rollers.

“They had the best pop (cream soda, orange, and lemon-lime) around.  It was a real treat to have pop back in the ’60s before it became ubiquitous and bad for us.”


Share your memories by posting a comment.