Odd, obscure, historic, humorous, random and/or relevant items from the archives of the Duluth News Tribune. Duluth News Tribune and Herald file photos are copyright Duluth News Tribune; direct questions to akrueger(at)duluthnews.com.
This view from sometime in the 1960s shows London Road in Duluth, looking west toward the Plaza shopping center, visible at upper right. The steeple of First Lutheran Church can be seen in the distance. Click on the photo for a larger view.
Here’s a zoomed-in view of the Plaza, with a J.C. Penney store in the space now occupied by a Super One grocery store:
The photographer is standing in front of an out-of-frame gas station. Perhaps it’s the Lakehead Service Center at 1530 London Road, seen in this photo from about the same time:
This photo in the News Tribune files has no caption information; click on the photo for a larger version.
We assume it’s from the mid- to late 1960s. And we can spot a U.S. Highway 61 road sign. Our best guess is that this shows Carlton Street in Duluth’s West End, looking toward the harbor. The ore docks would be to the right of the frame, and Clyde Iron (the present-day Duluth Heritage Sports Center) in the distance to the left of this view.
Can anyone confirm that? Or do you think this photo was taken somewhere else? What other details do you notice in the photo? Share your observations by posting a comment.
Walking the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth’s Canal Park now, along the well-used Lakewalk, it’s hard to imagine that just a few decades ago much of that shore was used as a junkyard.
The photo above (click on the image for a larger view) has no caption information, so we don’t know who the men are or just when it was taken. But the First United Methodist Church (coppertop) is visible atop the Hillside, so it’s sometime after the mid-1960s. (If you know who the men are, please post a comment)
The picture was used for some kind of article on cleaning up the city. Here’s another view, looking toward the Duluth Ship Canal:
After years of cleanup – and fill supplied by the excavation work needed to create the Interstate 35 tunnels in downtown Duluth – the Lakewalk opened in 1988.
Gradually, the industrial businesses in Canal Park closed or moved elsewhere. The last one – Duluth Spring Co. – relocated its remaining Canal Park employees in 2008; the site is now home to Canal Park Brewing Co.
That photo above, looking over junked cars toward the ship canal… here’s a view of what the Lakewalk looks like in that area today:
Here’s a previous Attic post that shows some of Canal Park’s industrial past:
The Spalding was the subject of several previous Attic posts, with a number of old photos. You can find them here, here, here and here.
Local authors and historians Tony Dierckins and Maryanne Norton featured the Spalding in their 2012 book “Lost Duluth.” You can find that information – and much more about Duluth history – at Zenith City Online.
Do you remember the Spalding? Do you have some memorabilia from the old hotel? Share your stories and memories by posting a comment.
We received word from KUWS radio’s Mike Simonson, on the Radio Superior Facebook page, that longtime Twin Ports radio and TV personality Jack McKenna died Sunday, Dec. 8 at age 91.
Jack McKenna does a weathercast at WDIO-TV in 1977, the same year he was chosen favorite TV personality by Twin Ports residents. (News Tribune file photo)
McKenna spent time as a weathercaster at WDIO-TV in the 1960s and 1970s, took some jobs elsewhere in the country and returned to Duluth as a weathercaster and news host at KBJR-TV in the 1980s.
He played the character “Captain Q” on a Duluth children’s TV show, and the News Tribune files report that he also played “Professor Fantastic” on a late-night horror movie show on WDIO.
McKenna also was an alumnus of Denfeld High School, and a good recap of his career can be found on their website.
Jack McKenna portrays the kids TV show character “Captain Q” in the early 1960s. (News Tribune file photo)
In more recent years, McKenna took part in the Radio Superior vintage radio program on KUWS.
I talked with him briefly a few weeks ago when writing an obituary for fellow Duluth TV veteran Dick Wallack. McKenna had had health issues in recent years, but his mind was sharp when we discussed the time he and Wallack spent working together.
Jack McKenna in 1970. (News Tribune file photo)
Several video clips of McKenna exist on YouTube, including….
McKenna as part of the WDIO news team in a 1973 newscast (I’ve included two of the five clips below – the ones that feature McKenna most prominently; find the rest here):
McKenna giving the weather on a 1986 KBJR newscast:
McKenna giving the weather on a KBJR newscast with Barbara Reyelts in 1988:
McKenna in character as Captain Q (this clip starts with footage of Ray Paulsen as Mr. Toot; Captain Q comes in the second half):
There aren’t many Twin Ports TV pioneers left… share your memories of Jack McKenna and other early Duluth TV personalities by posting a comment.
On this 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, here are four Duluth front pages covering the assassination and its aftermath.
In 1963 Duluth was served by two papers – the morning News-Tribune and the afternoon Herald. The Herald was able to provide same-day coverage of the event; here’s its Nov. 22, 1963 front page (with all of these, click on the image for a much larger, readable version):
Here’s the Nov. 23, 1963, News-Tribune:
And here are two more News-Tribune front pages from the days following the assassination:
Here are a couple views of a then-new Phillips 66 gas station and the offices of Como Oil Company along Superior Street at Eighth Avenue East in 1961. This view is from April of that year:
And here’s a photo from November 1961:
Here are a couple of zoomed-in views of the signage in the November photo (including what looks like a Hires Root Beer ad):
This Phillips 66 gas station was located across Eighth Avenue East from what is now Sir Benedict’s Tavern (what was then another gas station). The station is listed in city directories through 1983, the year it and many other buildings along Superior Street in that area were razed to make way for the eastward extension of Interstate 35. That was covered in an Attic post last year, and you can see the Phillips 66 station in the photos with that entry.
Past Attic posts have included photos of several gas station chains, including Clark, Pure and Holiday, among others. What gas station chains do you remember? Share your memories by posting a comment.
Bob Dylan – then Bobby Zimmerman – as a sophomore in the Hibbing High School yearbook, circa 1957. (News-Tribune file photo)
Today, May 24, 2013, is the 72nd birthday of Northland native and music icon Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth in 1941 and raised on the Iron Range, in Hibbing.
Two years ago, on the occasion of Dylan’s 70th birthday, I posted a collection of text and photos of Dylan from the News Tribune files. If you have not yet seen that – or even if you have – you can find the post here.
As with the previous post on the bear in the boat, this one features a reader-submitted photo from years back that was left in the News Tribune files.
The photo, credited to C.F. Sager of Duluth and dated Oct. 22, 1961, is a view of the old Interstate Bridge linking Duluth and Superior, as seen from its replacement, the then-new High Bridge, later named the Blatnik Bridge. Click on the photo for a larger version:
Here are a couple of zoomed-in views:
The Interstate Bridge has been featured in several past Attic posts:
Most of the span was removed in the years after the Blatnik Bridge opened. Part of the Interstate Bridge remains in place on the Duluth side and is used as a fishing pier; find more information at the links listed above.
This News Tribune file photo shows Interstate 35 under construction through West Duluth. It has two dates written on the back – 1969 and 1970 – so perhaps an alert reader can pick out some details from this image to determine which year is correct.
This photo certainly shows how important Cody Street was as an entrance to Duluth before the freeway was completed.
Click on the photo for a much larger version of the image. Here are a couple of zoomed-in views, starting with the West Duluth commercial district (this was a time before Kmart and Super One):
And here’s the area around Laura MacArthur School, what was then Shoppers City and the long-gone railroad viaduct:
Here are links to a couple of past Attic posts on West Duluth: