Odds and ends old photos of Duluth

Here are some random old photos of Duluth from the News Tribune files that I just don’t have enough information about to build an entire post for each. So I’ll assemble them here (click on the photos for a larger view)…

Gowan-Peyton-Twohy Co. and other businesses and warehouses at the foot of Fifth Avenue West in Duluth, circa 1900, near where the Great Lakes Aquarium stands today. There are quite a few posters hanging on those low buildings to the left. Using a magnifying glass, I was able to (I think) read only one of them…

In the middle of this zoomed-in view is a poster showing a large horseshoe and (again, I think) the brand name Nev-R-Slip Shoes.


This postcard view of the Duluth Ship Canal, circa 1902, predates construction of the Aerial Ferry Bridge.


This photo is a copy of a copy (of a copy?) and is labeled “1873 – above Fourth Street.” It’s looking east toward Lake Superior. Here’s a slightly more-zoomed-in view:

Have any information about what you see in these photos? Share your memories and stories by posting a comment.

Photos of the Aerial Ferry Bridge

Before it was the Aerial Lift Bridge, the Duluth icon was the Aerial Ferry Bridge.

When the span linking Canal Park to Park Point first opened in 1905, a gondola – or “aerial ferry” carried passengers and vehicles across the ship canal. The bridge was converted to its present lift-and-lower span in the winter of 1929-30.

I’m unsure of the origin of the photos with this post; I don’t think they were taken as News Tribune photos. They may have been sent in by readers at one time, but they’ve been residing in dusty files upstairs here for years. Whatever the source, they offer some nice glimpses of the Aerial Ferry Bridge; click on each photo for a larger view:

Duluth’s Aerial Ferry Bridge as viewed from the Lake Superior side, circa 1918.


Aerial Ferry Bridge viewed from Park Point side, circa April 1923. Signs on buildings to the right of the bridge structure on the far side read “Auto Transfer and Storage Co.” and (I think) “Hoopes Real Estate Loans.”


Aerial Ferry Bridge viewed from Park Point side, April 1, 1923.


Boarding the Aerial Ferry Bridge gondola from Park Point, April 1923.

Share your memories and stories by posting a comment.

Photos of Duluth Central state basketball title celebration, 1961

March 1961

This month marks the 51st anniversary of the 1961 Duluth Central boys basketball team winning the state title with a 51-50 victory over Bemidji in the Twin Cities. Here are a few photos from the News Tribune archives of the celebration upon the team’s return to Duluth; click on the photos for a larger version:

For more on Central, take a look at this previous Attic post.

Share your memories by posting a comment.

Hare-raising times on Duluth’s Park Point

May 21, 1999

Smokey the dog, owned by Donella Kubiak, has become quite accustomed to his rabbit friends on Park Point in May 1999. They have become used to him, too, not showing the least bit of concern as he barks at strangers. (Derek Neas / News-Tribune)

Park Point’s hare-raising problem

Rabbit population in Duluth neighborhood growing – by leaps and bounds

By Bob Linneman, News-Tribune staff writer

Donna Scorse sees nothing bunny — make that funny — about a robust rabbit population hopping around her Park Point neighborhood.

She’s expecting $500 worth of plants, flowers and shrubs to arrive this weekend for her back yard and fears the burgeoning bunny boom town will quickly embark on a search-and-destroy mission.

“Sure, they’re cute,” Scorse said with a hint of laughter tinged with frustration. “But this isn’t a cute problem.”

She’s at wits’ end, unsure how to deal with her long-eared dilemma. Everywhere she turns she sees rabbits. While the exact number of bunnies is difficult to determine, there are at least 50 throughout the four-block area — probably more. And the population is growing, evidenced by a large number of baby bunnies.

According to several of the area’s residents, the colony of rabbits started a few years ago from a single breeding pair of pet Easter bunnies who were released into the wild — which is illegal and morally repugnant, says Duluth rabbit expert Ruth Lyon. No one is sure of the culprit’s identity.

Being rabbits, these furry mammals have done what they do best — procreate prolifically. Females are capable of producing a litter of up to a dozen offspring every 28-35 days.

The explosion of rabbits has some in the neighborhood calling for some kind of control.

But not everyone is anti-rabbit in this area of Park Point — Minnesota Avenue between the 1400 and 1800 blocks, with scattered bunny sightings as far away as the Aerial Lift Bridge.

While Scorse would like to see the rabbits eradicated, relocated or simply removed, Donella Kubiak says leave the cute little varmints alone.

They aren’t hurting anyone or anything, she says, and nature will eventually take its course.

Kubiak has about 20 rabbits living in her yard — where a large deck allows good cover for the animals. To her, the rabbit population is a wonderful addition to the landscape. Even her dog, Smokey, doesn’t seem to mind the rabbits, who have been known to invade his doghouse on occasion.

“They mow the lawn and fertilize it too,” Kubiak said of the rabbits. “I enjoy them. They’re wonderful. I don’t want anyone out here harassing them.”

Six rabbits roam in the back yard of Donella Kubiak’s house on Park Point on May 19, 1999. Kubiak says the rabbits don’t do any harm on her property and she loves to have them around. (Derek Neas / News-Tribune)

There are several separate warrens of rabbits in this area, but all seem to be from the same roots. Most of them are white with black spots or stripes, and a smaller number are brown and black.

Folks in the area seem split on the bounty of bunnies. Some go as far as feeding the rabbits, while there have been reports of others who shoot them — which is illegal within city limits.

George Flentke, who heads the Wisconsin chapter of the House Rabbit Society in Madison — an education and rescue group devoted to rabbits — called the Park Point infestation a tragedy, “a dump-and-breed situation.”

“It’s one of those situations we have a hard time dealing with,” he said. “They can do a good deal of damage. They can denude that area pretty quickly.”

Low-lying trees and bushes in the area are feeling the effects. Scorse points to bushes in her yard that have gone from about 18 inches tall to a fraction of that size.

While distressed that the domestic rabbits were dumped, creating this colony of semi-wild rabbits, Flentke is equally surprised they have managed to survive — and thrive.

“I’m shocked, more than shocked, that they made it through the winter there,” Flentke said, adding that when he heard domestic rabbits were booming in Duluth, Minnesota, he couldn’t imagine them surviving for long. “Domestic rabbits don’t usually do well in the wild. They usually die out.”

But Park Point is lacking in predators at the moment. A normally strong fox population is down and raptors — hawks, owls and eagles — are not prevalent, either.

Two rabbits huddle nose to nose in the woods between the 1400 and 1800 blocks of Minnesota Avenue on Park Point in May 1999. Rabbits can be seen in the area in groups or alone, but they seem to be just about everywhere. (Derek Neas / News-Tribune)

Rich Staffon, the area wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said the rabbit epidemic isn’t a huge threat to the ecosystem of Park Point.

The area is isolated. And, Staffon says, domestic rabbits are genetically incapable of breeding with native species like the snowshoe hare and cottontail rabbit.

If the rabbits managed to cross the Aerial Lift Bridge and began establishing colonies downtown or on Duluth’s hillside, “then we might have to say it’s time to nip this in the bud,” Staffon said. “But I don’t see them as a big threat to this point.”

Staffon recommends those who don’t want rabbits eating their plants to construct enclosures to keep them out.

“It’s up to the individual,” he said. “Property owners can remove them. But I don’t recommend they release them somewhere else.”

Carrie Siegle, director of the Duluth Animal Shelter, said property owners on Park Point can bring any rabbits they capture to the shelter, but they would be destroyed. The shelter has neither the space nor the resources to handle a large number of rabbits.

Other options include live-trapping the rabbits and giving them to someone who raises the animals.

Staffon suspects it won’t be long before predators, especially airborne ones, discover the area is teeming with easy prey.

The mostly white rabbits tend to stand out in the brush. And these domestic-turned-wild bunnies, most likely descendants from European hares, are not exactly fast on their feet.

“Pretty quickly, I would guess, something in nature is going to discover this surplus of food,” Staffon said. “Sooner or later, they’ll move in and take the rabbits out.”

The sooner the better for Scorse: “I’m hoping someone can come out here and help us control this problem,” she said. “I don’t know what to do.”


A year later, Scorse got her wish – a group called Rabbit Rescue of Minnesota came to Park Point to round up the animals:

June 24, 2000

Volunteers from Rabbit Rescue of Minnesota, a Twin Cities animal rescue group, try their luck at catching a rabbit with a volleyball net on June 23, 2000, in front of a house in the 1700 block of Minnesota Avenue on Park Point. This one got away. (Derek Neas / News-Tribune)

‘Wascally wabbits’ divide Park Point

Some residents cheer volunteers, others want furry creatures left alone

By Bob Linneman, News-Tribune staff writer

The rabbit roundup on Park Point got under way Friday with limited success, but the presence of the group — known as Rabbit Rescue of Minnesota — had residents of the Point taking sides.

The Park Point rabbit zone, from about 13th Avenue to 20th, was ground zero for these volunteers, most from the Twin Cities, trying to capture as many of the domesticated rabbits as they could. It’s thought that at least 200 rabbits roam the neighborhood.

As of Friday evening, the group had caught about a dozen rabbits. Another 30 were trapped and caged — prior to the group’s arrival — by Park Point residents helping in the rescue operation.

The roundup continues through the weekend.

Not everyone on Park Point was happy with the bunny catchers’ arrival….

… but some Park Pointers were overjoyed to have the rabbits removed. (Photos by Derek Neas / News-Tribune)

Residents of the area were clearly divided. The group of volunteers, ranging in size from a half-dozen early Friday to about 15 later in the day, were met with signs of protest and welcome.

Two yards had clear “No hunting” signs posted, urging the rescuers to stay off their land. Two others had signs; one said, “Welcome Rabbit Roundup” and another “Bunnies here, please find and remove.”

“It’s been the extreme on both ends,” said volunteer Michelle Nephew of St. Paul, a member of the Rabbit House Society, a national advocacy group devoted to pet rabbits. “We’ve had some people drive by yelling at us, and others cheering us.”

There were also confrontations. Tim and Cindy Olson didn’t want any of the rabbits living in their yard to be removed.

At one point, the rabbit group skirted the Olsons’ property line while the family watched closely, making sure they didn’t cross onto their property. A few words were exchanged, but nothing got out of control.

“They’re terrorizing the rabbits,” Cindy Olson said. “They’re chasing them through people’s yards. The rabbits usually come right up to us, but now they’re shying away.”

Tools in the roundup included live traps, nets of various sizes and plastic fencing used to trap the animals.

The effort to capture the rabbits, neuter the males and hold an adoption Sunday has been sanctioned by the city of Duluth.

Administrative assistant Mark Winson, Mayor Gary Doty’s top aide, said the city is picking up the rescue group’s lodging costs and has rented a truck to transport the rabbits from the Point to a West Duluth warehouse.

Michelle Nephew of St. Paul and Christopher Ellian, 11, who lives on Park Point, bait a live trap for rabbits on June 23, 2000. (Derek Neas / News-Tribune)

Winson estimates the city’s contribution at $300. He added that the group does not need a permit to capture and transport the rabbits within city limits.

The mayor’s office, Winson said, has been inundated with pleas for the city to take action on the rabbit issue.

Andrea Nye, a 17-year-old Jefferson High School student from Bloomington, is one of the leaders of the rescue group and coordinated the roundup.

She said she’s rescued rabbits for more than two years and ; raised them for 11. She- is committed to helping: solve the Park Point situation, which she learned about from a Minnesota Public Radio report.

Friday’s effort was difficult.: “We’ve had lots of confrontations, but that’s part of it,” she said, unfazed by those opposing the group’s presence.

Many enjoy the rabbits and would prefer they be left alone. Others, however, call the rabbits a nuisance, doing thousands of dollars in damage to gardens and shrubs.

There are three schools of thought: leave them alone, kill them or capture and adopt them out as pets. Rabbit Rescue of Minnesota prefers the third. Others expressed a different viewpoint.

“The rabbits would be much better served by re-introducing a few native red foxes to Park Point and adopting an ordinance outlawing the feeding (the rabbits),” said resident Gary Hopp, who said the rabbits have destroyed his gardens.

The roundup continues today. Sunday, at a warehouse on West Michigan Street just past 29th Avenue West, the group hopes to host rabbit adoptions. The event will be open to the public — signs will direct people to the warehouse.


So whatever happened to all those rabbits on Park Point? News Tribune Editor Robin Washington tackled that topic in a column that ran in the paper on April 4, 2010.

Share your stories and memories by posting a comment.

Warehouse Bar, 1984

July 27, 1984

Butch Curran, owner of the Warehouse Bar, stands in the newly opened dance area attached to the bar and grill on July 23, 1984. (Jack Rendulich / News-Tribune)

It’s cool down at the Warehouse

By Bob Ashenmacher, News-Tribune staff writer

The surprise hit of this year’s Grandma’s Marathon weekend was the Warehouse.

Locals among the multitudes at Canal Park were surprised to hear live music pulsing from the big brick garage at 408 S. First Ave. E. It looked less like a nightclub than like the 67-year-old former ice house it is.

But some 500 people crammed in to hear reggae-calypso kings Shangoya the night of race day. The funky brick-and-ventilator look was a perfect setting. Long beerhall-style tables imparted a vaguely Germanic feel, as if one was catching the Beatles at the Star Club in Hamburg. Two huge freight doors were opened to let cool breezes in and attract onlookers, who were kept out by snow fencing. There was an exciting street dance feel.

Co-owner Butch Curran has decided to try offering live music on a regular basis. He had local blues purveyors The Wingtips last Friday night and Twin Cities rockers the Flamin’ Oh’s on Saturday. The Oh’s drew 300, even with a $3 cover charge and lots of free music outside at the Fog Fest.

Tonight it’s the Wingtips again, with Shangoya back on Saturday.

“We’ll try it at least through summer and fall,” Curran said. He plans to use more local bands when UMD resumes classes. The music area is adjacent to the Warehouse Bar, which is nearly three years old. Curran may give the new area its own name soon and is considering The Terminal. Entrance will still be through the Warehouse, he said.

Local club owners have been getting away from live music with depressing regularity the last couple of years. So why did Curran and his mostly silent partner Dick Hicks get into it?

“I saw some statistics the Marine Museum had on the number of people who come down into this area in the summer,” Curran said. “And I had the space. All I was using it for was storage.”

Vending wagons are parked near the entrance to the Warehouse Bar on Aug. 6, 1986, after being moved from Burger King next door in Canal Park. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

Curran brought in Charlie Sobczak, a local music promoter formerly with the Norshor Theater, to choose which acts to offer.

“I initially said, ‘Let’s try something outdoors,’ ” Sobczak said. “Butch said, ‘I know June too well.’ ”

The hall is a cavern-like 106 feet long and 45 feet wide, with a 23-foot-high ceiling. The walls still are dotted with a few chunks of the 5-inch-thick cork that used to insulate the ice blocks against summer heat. Large elevated areas on either end would make fine balconies. There’s plenty of room for a stage, two bars and a dressing room, should Curran’s plans go that far.

“We’re trying to decide now how much we should do,” he said. “Some people have told us that the crudeness of it is good.”

— end —

I don’t have any more information about the Warehouse Bar, other than I know a lot of people remember it. Do you know when it closed? Share your memories by posting a comment.

Dugar Music Co. and the Kasbar, 1961

This is a “best of the Attic” post, which first appeared back in June 2008. Go to the original post for some comments from readers about the topic…

This News Tribune file photo from late fall or early winter 1961 shows the Dugar Music Co. store and the Kasbar at 220 W. Superior St. in downtown Duluth. The building has since been home to Mr. Nick’s and several other restaurants over the years; it now houses R.T. Quinlan’s Saloon and Jalapeno Express.

If you look closely at the poster to the left of the Kasbar door, you’ll see that it is advertising the Dec. 4, 1961, closed-circuit telecast of a heavyweight boxing title bout between Floyd Patterson and “Irish” Tom McNeeley, as well as a second bout between Sonny Liston and Albert Westphal:

The fights — Patterson-McNeeley in Toronto, and Liston-Westphal in Philiadelphia — were to be “shown in about 150 theatres and arenas in the United States and Canada,” according to a pre-fight article in the Duluth Herald, which called the telecast “a first in boxing.” In Duluth, the fights were shown at the Armory; tickets to the telecast were sold at the Kasbar.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, Patterson knocked out McNeeley in the fourth round, and Liston knocked out Westphal in the first round.

Here is a link to a full-color image of the same poster (except for the local reference at the top).

To share your memories about Dugar Music Co. and the Kasbar, post a comment.

Photos of winter in the Twin Ports in the 1980s

Before our snow disappears in the next few days – highs may reach the 50s by next week – I thought I’d take the chance to dig through the “winter” photo files in the News Tribune Attic and post some shots from the 1980s of people having fun – or at work – in the snow. Here they are…

Judy VanDell and daughter Kristin, 4, stroll by a snowman on top of a car at the corner of 24th Avenue West and Fourth Street on Dec. 3, 1986. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

First-graders at Congdon Elementary School roll a big snowball for the base of a snowman on March 10, 1986. Their teacher, Sharon Rud, said she let the kids build a snow village after their gym class was canceled that day. (Bob King / News Tribune)

Paul Guello sculpts the snowman’s face while assisted by his son Michael, 3, (far left) and neighborhood kids Christopher and Tiffany Lee, ages 6 and 3, at Superior’s Central Park on Nov. 24, 1986. (John Rott / News-Tribune)

Kids gather at Portland Square Park in Duluth on Nov. 22, 1986, to build a snow fort. They are, left to right, Katie McRae, 6; Shawn Hoffman, 10; Jeff Clasen, 6; Alex Ross, 11; and Jacob Akervik, 9. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

David O’Brien, 7, son of Don and Barb O’Brien, blasts down a sledding hill near Commonwealth Avenue in Gary on Jan. 25, 1985. He was sliding with his friend Mike McDevitt, 6. (Jack Rendulich / News-Tribune)

Kids from the West Duluth and Duluth Heights soccer clubs cooperated to roll two giant snowballs to use as the bases for goalposts for the game at Irving Field in West Duluth on Nov. 16, 1985. (John Rott / News-Tribune)

Susan Gross starts a seemingly insurmountable job shoveling wet, heavy snow in front of her house on Red Wing Street in Duluth on Nov. 29, 1983. (John Rott / News-Tribune)

Scott Tousignant, 11, makes a speedy descent of snow-covered stairs leading from Second Street to First Street at Sixth Avenue East in Duluth on Nov. 26, 1983. (Joey McLeister / News-Tribune)

Mabel Smevoll, 84, sweeps a light dusting of snow from her walkway in West Duluth on Dec. 8, 1988. Smevoll said she loves to work even at her age, and said she was “making room for some more” snow. (Bob King / News-Tribune)

Harry Staaf, 85, clears his driveway along 27th Avenue West on Dec. 27, 1988. “If you’re going to live in Duluth, you gotta expect shoveling,” Staaf said. “By summer we will all forget this anyway.” (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)

Ryan Wiisanen, 6, tosses a snowball at his aunt, Shirkey Uraniak, on Oct. 14, 1986, at Uraniak’s house in Maple. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)

Gary Kniep heads home from the grocery store on Nov. 20, 1988, carrying the groceries and pulling his son Garrett, 4, down St. Marie Street near the UMD campus. (Bob King / News-Tribune)

A 6-foot-tall snowman on the corner of Second Avenue West and Superior Street in downtown Duluth caught a lot of glances and the attention of Kelly Larson, 3, and her mother, Sally, as they waited for her dad, Jim, to join them for shopping on Dec. 14, 1988. The snowman’s creator was not known to nearby shop employees. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

Trina, Mark and Charity Hansen of Duluth take a snowy glide down a hill near Portland Square in Duluth on Nov. 5, 1988. (Steve Stearns / News-Tribune)

Do you recognize the people in any of these photos? Are you one of the people in these photos? Share your memories by posting a comment.

A building in Duluth shaped like a shoe?

Has Duluth ever been home to a house shaped like a shoe?

A reader wrote to me, saying she had once seen an old postcard of a shoe-shaped building that said it was in Duluth’s Piedmont Heights neighborhood. She had never heard anything else about such a structure in Duluth, and I never have – so I’ll put the question out to you.

If you have any information about a shoe-shaped building in Duluth, please post a comment. And, while we’re at it, did Duluth ever have any other of those kinds of structures – buildings built to look like something else?

Hollywood comes to Duluth, 40 years ago

Actress Patty Duke takes a break during the filming of the movie “You’ll Like My Mother” at French River near Duluth in early March 1972. Chatting with her is Jim Bishop, a public relations representative for Universal Studios-Bing Crosby Productions, producers of the film. The Duluth Transit Authority mini-bus in the background is being used in the film. Shooting continues despite inclement weather; the principal reason the company is in Duluth is to take advantage of the snow which figures in the plot of the film. (News-Tribune file photo)

At this time 40 years ago, Duluth was getting a dose of Hollywood fame as actress Patty Duke was in town, along with other actors and a full film crew, to shoot the movie “You’ll Like My Mother.” The thriller was filmed mostly at Glensheen (then the Congdon mansion), with the rest shot along the North Shore, as seen above.

Here’s an article that ran in March 1972 about locals who took part in the filming:

16 Duluthians enjoy movie experiences

By Keith Thomsen of the News-Tribune staff

“Lights! Camera! Action!”

Sixteen Duluthians, most of them actors from the Duluth Playhouse, found it hard to believe those words when they heard them. But there, right in front of them, was a real Hollywood movie dude, complete with a clapboard with the “take” number on it, just like.. well, just like you see in the movies. And they were on it!

These lucky Duluthians were all chosen to be stand-ins or extras in the film, “You’ll Like My Mother,” starring Patty Duke. Parts of the movie were shot at the Congdon Estate, a French River store, and various locations along the North Shore during the past two months.

Those who were chosen to be stand-ins did literally that; they stood in the places of the real actors while cameras were focused and lights were adjusted for the next scene to be filmed.

One of them, Miss Elizabeth Petrovic, 1914 E. 1st St., explained the qualifications of a stand-in. She said it was important that a stand-in have approximately the same height, complexion, and hair color as the actor he or she was substituting for. The stand-in walked through the actions the real actor was supposed to do in the scene while lighting men checked and adjusted the lights to make sure the film would be properly exposed when the real filming commenced.

Mrs. Peggy Stocco, 2603 E. 6th St., who stood in for Patty Duke, said this process often took and hour or more. She was never bored, but she was very impressed by all the time-consuming work and painstaking care that goes into preparing a scene in a movie even before the star appears. She estimated that she put in 200 hours as a stand-in while the film crew was in Duluth.

Most of the Duluthians in the movie were extras in a scene involving a passenger bus stopping at a country store. In the movie, there is a blizzard in progress as Miss Duke gets off the bus on her way to visit her dead husband’s mother.

The extras from Duluth played passengers on that bus. They were dressed like ordinary people and were supposed to look like typical passengers.

For example, Miss Madeline McGee, 109 N. 8th Ave. E, said she and Mrs. Myrtle Marshall, 4321 McCullough St., played “two old biddies” who stare disapprovingly at a pregnant hippie girl.

Mrs. Marshall laughed as she described herself as an old biddy and said she didn’t mind that casting at all. “I was just thrilled pink to be in the movies!”

The extras on the bus sequence didn’t have the glamorous roles that people associate with Hollywood movies, however. Their acting careers consisted of getting on and off a bus out at French River in a blizzard.

Mrs. Burnice Webb, 3710 E. 4th St., described very graphically what it was like to be an extra in a blizzard.

“The wind was blowing so hard. And it was cold! We ran through the scene three times in the morning and thought we had getting on and off a bus down perfectly. That afternoon the storm got worse. Something would go wrong every time we went through the scene. The store window they were photographing through would fog up or a snowplow that was supposed to go through the scene at a certain time would miss his cue and spoil the whole thing. Then we’d have to wait for snow to pile up so he’d have something to plow.

“By the seventh or eighth ‘take’ I was such a mess! The wind was blowing so hard! And as I was going out to get on that bus one more time, Patty Duke said, ‘Aren’t you glad you had your hair done to be in the movie?’ And I didn’t even look like I had hair by that time!”

Patty Duke (right) and others on a location shoot for the film “You’ll Like My Mother” near Duluth in March 1972. This picture carries no more caption info; do you know who the other people are? If so, please post a comment. (News-Tribune file photo)

Bill Francis of Oliver, another extra in the sequence, said some of the takes would be going perfectly and then some old farmer would drive into the store where they were shooting, just like nothing was happening there, in spite of all the policemen, technicians, actors, buses, trucks, lights, etc. sitting around. The whole movie would have to stop until he bought his ring of baloney or something and left.

It took almost 12 hours to get that scene. The extras had to report to the Radisson Duluth Hotel at 7 a.m. that morning and they didn’t get home until 7 or 7:30 that night. Much of their day was spent waiting around in the cold for the next attempt to film the scene.

For this work the extras got the Minnesota minimum wage, $1.25 an hour. Roger Oman, 430 E. 13th St., another extra, said the bus and truck drivers hired to take them out there got paid three times as much as the local actors.

Some of the extras were a little luckier and got speaking roles. The Screen Guild, an actors’ union, has rules to the effect that anyone who says anything in a movie is classified as an actor and is therefore entitled to union scale pay, about $140 per day.

As a result, Jim Glazman, 1811 Vermilion Road, got quite a boost in pay just for saying, “Just stay on the road, you can’t miss it.”

“Actually I wasn’t chosen for that speaking role because of my great speaking ability,” he explained. “I got the part because I’ve got a blue bakery truck.”

The director of the movie wanted a bakery truck to pull into the store just as the bus was leaving it. But all the bakery trucks in town are painted white, and wouldn’t photograph well in the snow storm. Then the director happened to see Glazman’s bakery truck on the street and inquired about using it. When the director found out he had done some acting at the Playhouse, Glazman got the part.

So, while some stars are discovered because of their handsome faces or charming manners, Glazman got into the movies because he owns a blue truck.

“I get kidded about that an awful lot down at work,” he admitted ruefully.

Despite the long hours and low pay, all the Duluthians who were in the movie enjoyed their experiences immensely.

All of them said they were particularly impressed by the hard work, expense, and painstaking care that the professional moviemakers put into making even the shortest scene in a movie. The Hollywood crew normally worked from 7 in the morning till 6:30 or 7 at night, six days a week. Mary Ann Modeen, 1821 Melrose Ave., a stand-in, estimated that the company had a staff of about 50 people, besides stand-ins and extras.

At the filming of the bus sequence out at French River, the movie studio had its regular crew on the job, and had chartered a number of trucks and buses, a snowplow and a store. After ten hours of work, they had covered a total seven pages of dialogue and had three and a half minutes of film to show for their efforts, said Win Dostal, 628 Spear St., an extra in the scene. Mrs. Webb added that they were all elated that they had gotten so much done that day.

Even in that 3 1/2-minute scene the movie people left nothing to chance. They would film the scene again and again to get it perfect, no matter what it cost them.

When the snowflakes in the blizzard that day proved too small to photograph well, they got out their own artificial snow.

Dostal said the moviemakers had planned so well that they even had two kinds of artificial snow with them, No. 15 and no. 20 vinyl snow. Dostal said nobody has really lived until they’ve stood in a blizzard with “the wind blowing like hell,” being pelted with handfuls of No. 15 vinyl snow.

The extras and stand-ins all said that even though the filmmakers from California were very professional, they were also very friendly. Mrs. Beverly Sturm, 2221 E. 4th St., who was a stand-in, extra, and local extra talent coordinator for the movie, said she had made many friends on the crew and had been invited to visit some of them in Southern California.

Mrs. Sturm said Miss Duke was particularly nice to everyone in the movie. According to Mrs. Sturm, she addressed everyone by their first names and invited them all to a farewell party at the Radisson last week.

Charles Jasper of Oliver, who was a stand-in, was particularly impressed by Miss Duke’s acting ability. “She could be talking and laughing with you one minute and then go and play a rape scene the next and really make you believe it!”

Those of the extras and stand-ins who had acting experience said they thought it was much easier to act in a movie. Jim Neuman, 511 N. 19th Ave. W, who had a speaking role in the movie as a clerk in a store, said he only had to learn a few lines at a time and could concentrate on putting all of his ability into a few words or even into a single emotion. On the stage, he said, an actor has to learn his lines for a whole play and has to pace himself for a whole performance, not just for a few seconds while the cameras are filming.

All Duluthians in the movie said the would definitely go to see “You’ll Like My Mother” when it premieres here early next fall. “I’ll probably see it 10 times,” said Mrs. Sturm. Mrs. Stocco said she “could hardly wait to see it.”

Strangely, only two of the 16 who were in the movie would admit that they had had any hopes of being discovered by Hollywood directors and producers and spirited off to Southern California for a glamorous film career. Most of them pooh-poohed the idea and said they never thought of such a thing.

It should be noted, however, that most of them jumped at the chance to be in the movie. They left children with baby sitters, they took days of their vacation to be in it. Some of them took emergency leave, and French leave, from their jobs in order to be in the movie. One of them even hired someone to take her job temporarily so she could be an extra.

Only Tom Torrison, 1907 Columbus Ave., and Miss McGee admitted they had thought of the possibility of being discovered. “It runs in the back of your mind,” said Torrison. “But basically you know better.”

Miss McGee said, “We can all have our dreams, you know.”

— end —

Actress Patty Duke films a scene for “You’ll Like My Mother” along the North Shore in early March 1972. (News-Tribune file photo)

Patty Duke was hospitalized at St. Luke’s for several days during the weeks-long film shoot in Duluth because of a kidney ailment. Filming started in February and continued into March.

She told the Duluth Herald during her stay here that “Duluth is terrific. … I’m not crazy about being cold, though. The best thing about it is the people here. They are all so friendly.”

The movie was shot in Duluth, the Herald reported, because of a newspaper story about the Congdon mansion. The movie’s producer had friends with relatives in Duluth, and he became aware of the story and the mansion through them – and it was chosen as the set.

“You’ll Like My Mother” opened in Duluth on Nov. 4, 1972, at the Norshor – you can see it on the marquee of the Norshor in this Christmas City of the North parade photo from later that month.

“‘You’ll Like My Mother’ will not eclipse ‘Psycho’ or ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane’ as thrillers go, but it’s a taut psychological drama with little love and some violence,” the News-Tribune’s Jim Heffernan wrote in the next day’s paper. “The star performer has to be the Congdon home and carriage house. For so many Duluthians who have admired it from the outside, it will be a treat to follow the color camera through its paneled corridors, carved stairways and beautifully appointed rooms.”

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