Mystery photo

Date unknown

I found this poignant image of a man surveying a block of abandoned homes in a folder of random, unfiled photos in the archives. It has no date, and no caption information of any kind.

It was in some proximity to a group of 1960s I-35 construction photos, which fits with my first thought on what this photo might show – a group of homes slated for urban renewal demolition in that era. Perhaps the man is a former resident. It’s winter, and the street the homes are on is unplowed.

What appears to be the Duluth ridgeline is visible immediately above the man’s head, so that might be a small clue.

Can anyone fill in more information? If so, post a comment. Here is a closer look:


I mentioned the I-35 photos I also found in that file. Here’s one from October 30, 1962, showing civic officials with a model for the freeway’s planned expansion through downtown Duluth:

Pictured here are, from left, Charles N. Bailey, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Streets and Highways Committee; R.B. Morris, executive secretary of the Chamber of Commerce; and L.H. Miller of the Minnesota Highway Department.

Here’s a closer look at the model:

The Mesaba Avenue interchange is at left. As envisioned here, the freeway would have been elevated and left the railyards largely intact (in fact, this model shows the Soo Line Depot still intact and handling trains via a tunnel under Mesaba). The freeway would have run across the northern part of Canal Park, with interchanges at Fifth Avenue West and somewhere around First Avenue East.

Of course, many variations and many years passed before the freeway was extended in its present – and most assuredly better-than-this-model form.

One other thing stood out to be from this image – the homemade quality of the poster:

– Andrew Krueger

Sixth Avenue West viaduct, 1966

June 22, 1966

Sixth Avenue West viaduct and downtown Duluth, June 22, 1966. (Charles Curtis / Duluth Herald)

This viaduct didn’t have long to live at the time this photo was taken. Within a couple years, demolition work would begin as the railyards began their several-decades-long transition to today’s Interstate 35, among other projects. There’s a lot to see in this photo by zooming in, including:

The North Star Marine pilot service building.


A "clear-cut" few blocks where buildings have been razed for the Gateway redevelopment project. The News Tribune building stands just below City Hall on the right side of this view, on the edge of the construction along Fifth Avenue West.


Passenger cars waiting in the rail yards.


A car hiding under the viaduct, and a welcome sign of some kind on which the rest of the text is just barely unreadable.


The viaduct started coming down in late 1967, starting with the ramp that led down to lower Fifth Avenue West (which had its own, more modern viaduct):

A shovel begins the task of demolishing the viaduct from Fifth to Sixth avenues West on December 13, 1967. (News-Tribune file photo)


The main viaduct structure came down in 1968, as seen in this photo:


Here are some past Attic entries on Twin Ports bridges:

Arrowhead Bridge

Interstate Bridge

Lake Avenue Bridge

Share your memories of the Sixth Avenue West viaduct, the railyards or anything else in these photos by posting a comment.

– Andrew Krueger

Cousin Jack Pasty Inc., 1965

January 1965

Mrs. Hazel Toikka (left) folds vegetable-beef filling into pie dough while Mrs. Aletha Birno (right) holds a finished Cousin Jack Pasty in Duluth in January 1965. In the background are Mrs. Alvera Haltli and Mrs. Ella Isaacson. (News-Tribune file photo)

I can’t find much in the files to accompany this photo of the Cousin Jack Pasty Inc. assembly line in Duluth. The only clipping is an excerpt from a January 7, 1965, News-Tribune article headlined "150 Manufacturers Produce in Duluth":

Having his pie and eating it too is Gil Gustafson, whose Cousin Jack Pasty Inc. last year made 50,000 vegetable-beef pies for retailers in a wide area and hopes to double its production this year. A major food store chain is among the customers. Eleven persons are employed in the manufacturing process, which utilizes special machinery and, according to Gustafson, "a genuine Cornish recipe that is at least 200 years old." He expects to hire more people as his expansion plans develop. "They look very promising," he said.


So, can anyone fill in some details about what happened to Cousin Jack Pasty Inc. in Duluth? Post a comment if you know more.

A Google search turns up several "Cousin Jack" pasty businesses, including Cousin Jack’s Pasty Company in Eugene, Oregon, but none appear to have any connection to the Duluth operation of the 1960s.

And, it being the West Coast, the Eugene outfit offers variations on the traditional beef-and-rutabaga pasty that would be sacrilege to any true Northland pasty fan: Pesto-lamb, cheeseburger and more. As far as I’m concerned, those variations may be tasty… but they’re no pasty!

– Andrew Krueger

President Kennedy in Duluth, 1963

Sept. 24, 1963


President John F. Kennedy greets admirers during a visit to Duluth in this Sept. 24, 1963, photo. (File / News Tribune)

President John F. Kennedy visited Duluth in September 1963, less than two months before he was assassinated.

Kennedy, who also appeared in the Northland as a presidential candidate in 1960, gave a speech during the Northern Great Lakes Region Conference of Land and People at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1963. Here’s an excerpt from the full prepared-text address that appeared in the News Tribune in 1963:

"The northern Great Lakes region has the land, the water, the skilled manpower, the resources and the transportation and recreation facilities to make it one of the country’s most prosperous areas. Yet the unemployment rate in this area is roughly twice that of the nation as a whole — which is itself too high. The economy of a region that should be prospering has reflected instead a series of economic setbacks, as mines and mills shut down or curtailed their operation. Year after year, this area has had the short end of every economic indicator."

Sept. 25, 1963


President Kennedy (back to camera) shakes hands with a woman in Duluth (1963 file / Duluth Herald)


Previous JFK-related Attic posts:

Duluth Arena-Auditorium construction, 1963-66


Duluth Arena

Project foreman Buz Beechler (left) and William Colt work on construction of the Duluth Arena-Auditorium. (1964 file / News Tribune)

This week’s groundbreaking of the $57 million DECC expansion may elicit memories of construction of the then-Duluth Arena-Auditorium in the 1960s. Groundbreaking of the Duluth Arena-Auditorium took place on Dec. 20, 1963, and construction neared completion in July 1966 for the August 4-14 grand opening. Construction of Pioneer Hall, an addition to the arena, began in 1975.

Now the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, the DECC has been home to a number of events from Minnesota Duluth men’s and women’s hockey to rock concerts and trade shows for 43 years.

The expected opening date of the new arena is Dec. 31, 2010.

Dec. 20, 1963


The groundbreaking ceremony in 1963 (File / News Tribune)

May 21, 1965


Workers pour cement during construction of the Duluth Arena-Auditorium. (1965 file / News Tribune)

Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge, 1962

August 19, 1962

Duluth businessman Manley "Monnie" Goldfine died Wednesday at age 80. Goldfine was one of the founders of Duluth retailing icon Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge; here are some photos and articles about the store from the News Tribune’s archives. One note on the name… I saw "By-The-Bridge" punctuated and capitalized in all different kinds of ways, so I just settled on the version I liked best:

Mrs. Dennis Mahoney of 3702 Minnesota Avenue looks at clothing in the new Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge store in Duluth in 1962. Mrs. Mahoney was the first customer through the doors when the Goldfine family opened its Trading Post 26 years ago, and was given the honor again for the new store. (News-Tribune file photo)


Duluth Herald

Goldfine’s, Duluth’s newest mass-volume department store, opens its eight electronically operated doors to the public at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

The store management uses "By the Bridge" as the address of the huge new structure to stress the proximity of its Garfield Avenue location to the Duluth-Superior high bridge. Key curves and sweeps of the big bridge are reflected in interior decoration of the block-long store.

The $1.5 million structure displays a $2 million inventory in its 132,000 square feet of sales space. More than 20 merchandising departments and an 18,000-square-foot warehouse are incorporated in the massive concrete block and poured-concrete building.

Opening the store realizes "a cherished dream of our family to build the most modern and reliable shopping facility in this area," said Mrs. Fannie Goldfine Benton, president of Goldfine’s. Her sons are officers of the corporation; Erwin is general manager and Monty is merchandise manager.

Mrs. Benton said the new building "meets our fondest expectations" and is the largest enterprise undertaken by the family. …

The new store replaces Goldfine’s Trading Post building, occupied for 26 years of the company’s 39-year Duluth history. Goldfine’s has closed its Fourth Avenue West carpet and furnishings outlet, but will continue to operate its downtown store at 202 E. Superior St., Monty Goldfine said. …

Exterior of Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge, 1967 (News-Tribune file photo)


The exterior makes extensive use of decorative concrete detailing to break the sheer massiveness of its broad length. Its main entrance is highlighted by an expanse of glass that provides customers of the store’s "Bridge Room" cafeteria with a view of the high bridge and surrounding harbor area.

A 175-ton air-conditioning system and gas heating provide comfortable interior climate. Bright lighting on the main floor hangs from a waffle-patterned poured concrete ceiling that gives the building strength over its wide-open areas.

Use of both pastel and intense wall colors in the interior decor sets off the dominant off-white of the ceiling and the blue-toned tile flooring.

An escalator flanks one side of the glass-doored main entrance; a floating staircase on the other rises to the upstairs cafeteria and furnishings, appliance, sporting goods and carpet departments and store offices. The offices are on a third-floor mezzanine.

Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge, 1968. (George Starkey / News-Tribune)


Apparel items by the hundreds are racked in a huge department near the front door. Women’s and children’s footwear are displayed nearby. Housewares – linens, sheets and towels – men’s and boys’ sections, more than 2,500 children’s dresses, phonograph records, jewelry and cameras, coats, auto supplies, pet items, hardware, china, luggage and toys are readily accessible in the front part of the store.

A huge drug department features prescription service; its neighboring departments offer an enormous display of beauty and health aids and a snack bar.

A grocery supermarket spreads over much of the area at the northwest end of the big building. Seven modern check-out counters are racked in front of 420 lineal feet of shelf racks and counters.

A long conveyor belt system will rush customers’ grocery and meat purchases to wide parking areas at the front of the store.

Upstairs, rack upon rack of major appliances and big displays of fishing tackle and other recreational gear are to be found under bright lighting. …

A concrete ramp stretches up from Garfield Avenue to the four truck bays at the second-floor entrance to the furniture warehouse. …

Parking space for 500 cars stretches along both sides of Garfield Avenue; the Goldfines say 36 individual parcels of property were purchased over a period of several years to provide parking room. …

Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge record, jewelry and clothing departments at the store’s opening, 1962. (News-Tribune file photo)


There was a massive fire in the store in June 1964, followed by a sale of fire-damaged merchandise that drew huge crowds in July. The store reopened in August 1964. In July 1966, the store added a pilot house on the roof. Here’s an article on its opening from the News-Tribune of August 4, 1966:

Crews lower a pilot house on to the roof of Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge on July 6, 1966. (News-Tribune file photo)


Duluth News-Tribune

When Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge opens its new pilot house Friday there will be an authentic Great Lakes skipper at the helm.

Capt. B.F. Davies, a retired 43-year veteran on the Great Lakes and 29 years as a shipmaster, has been engaged as captain of the pilot house recently installed on the roof of Goldfine’s store, 700 Garfield Ave.

The pilot house is from the former Great Lakes carrier Charles S. Hebard of the Wilson Marine Transit Co., a vessel Davies skippered for three years during World War II.

Davies, who supervised the installation of the pilot house, said every possible piece of equipment has been installed to assure authenticity. …

Davies said he is looking forward to meeting tourists and Duluthians when they visit the pilot house beginning Friday. He’ll be available to answer questions about the Great Lakes and, more specifically, about the operation of a huge ore carrier. …


The Goldfine family sold their interest in the store to Unishops Inc. in 1971, though Manley and his brother, Erwin, stayed on in leadership roles until 1977. Unishops went through bankruptcy in the mid-1970s and announced in August 1978 that the Goldfine’s chain – also including stores in Grand Rapids, Willmar and Mankato, Minn., and Des Moines and Sioux City, Iowa – would close because it was losing money.

Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge closed on January 20, 1979, as recounted in this News-Tribune article from the following day:


News Tribune

Its racks picked clean by last-minute bargain hunters, Goldfine’s By-The-Bridge, the Duluth discount department store, shuddered its dying gasp and shuttered its doors for good Saturday.

Its closing brought to an end a Duluth institution begun in 1922 by the late Abe and Fannie Goldfine. …

"We are sad to see the business close, mainly because about 200 people are losing their jobs," said Manley Goldfine who, with his brother Erwin, grew up with the business. …

"An era has come to an end," Manley commented.


The Goldfine’s building survives today as the home of Goodwill Industries.

St. Luke’s ICU, 1962

January 21, 1962

Mrs. Edward Stein, head nurse, checks the Circ-O-Lectric bed in the intensive care unit at St. Luke’s in Janu-ary 1962. Ethan A. Phillips, 57, of West Allis, Wis., has occupied the bed since a recent operation for a cerebral hemorrhage. Mrs. Phillips is at left. The bed can be turned in a circle so the patient, usually paralyzed, can be moved to different positions. News Tribune file photo

The intensive care unit, or ICU, is a standard feature of today’s medical centers. But back in 1962, the concept was relatively new. This photo accompanied a Jan. 21, 1962, News Tribune article marking the first anniversary of the ICU at St. Luke’s hospital. Here are some excerpts:


By David L. Gardner, News-Tribune staff writer

Several persons were sitting in the small waiting room on the fifth floor of St. Luke’s Hospital. A telephone at one side of the room was the center of attention.

"That’s a direct line into the unit" the resident administrator was saying. "If a person wants to see a patient, he calls into the unit to find out if he may."

"The unit" is the intensive care section now nearing its first year of operation and considered one of the most important departments of the hospital. …

As the name implies, it accommodates in one area critically ill patients in need of close supervision. It also provides supplementary service when the post-anesthesia recovery room is closed and a treatment center for accident victims when emergency rooms are filled. …

From the "nerve center" of the St. Luke’s intensive care unit, all 16 patients in the section can be seen. News Tribune file photo


The efficiency of the unit is noticeable when one first enters the room. From her desk in one corner, Head Nurse Mrs. Edward Stein can see all of the room’s 16 beds unless the curtains have been drawn around a patient for breathing or examination.
Resident Administrator David Schmauss said the unit “virtually does away with the special duty nurse.

“Before the cost to the family for a room and a special duty nurse was about $80 a day,” Schmauss continued. “It costs a person $40 a day in the intensive care unit and he still receives the special care his condition demands.” …

Visitors are allowed in the unit only five minutes out of every hour, at any time during the day. Only one person may see a patient at a time and that one must be a relative.


I would have like to have included the first name of the ICU’s head nurse, but — in a sign of the era — she was referred to only as “Mrs. Edward Stein.”

Ceiling collapses at Central, 1963

December 4, 1963

Dennis Moe views remnants of a plaster ceiling which crashed to the floor in Duluth Central High School’s cafeteria on Dec. 4, 1963. News Tribune file photo

On December 4, 1963, a huge portion of plaster ceiling came crashing down in Duluth Central High School’s cafeteria while school was session — and, miraculously, no one was in the usually-busy room at the time.

Here is the account from the next day’s News Tribune:

A tragedy that could have injured or killed as many as 30 students was averted by mere chance at 73-year-old Central High School Wednesday.

A portion of plaster and acoustical tile ceiling in Central’s cafeteria crashed to the floor at about 2:20 p.m., 90 minutes after the students had left the room following their mid-day lunches.

The damaged section measured about 30×10 feet and fell onto two tables, battering them and 20-30 chairs. … Weight of the section was estimated to be as high as three or four tons. …

Although Duluth voters recently approved a special $2.4 million tax levy for school improve-ments and construction, none of the bond issue provisions was for improvements at Central.

The School Board did, in 1961, initiate action aimed at obtaining a 60-acre tract for construction of a new Central High School. At that time, it was indicated the new school would be built within 10 years.


The board hit its early predictions right on the nose — in 1971, students left “old” Central and moved up the hill to start classes at “new” Central. Today, the landmark old school continues to be used for district offices, while the new school is slated for closure under the district’s long-range facilities plan.

Here is one more photo from old Central, of a busy hallway as viewed from a staircase in September 1969:

And here is a slightly zoomed-in view of some of the students:


* Last week there was a post that featured a photo of the Glass Block coffee shop. News Tribune reader Gail Reamer of Duluth called to let me know that she was the waitress behind the counter in that photo, with a cup of coffee in hand to serve to a customer.

Glass Block coffee shop, 1969

May 15, 1969

Glass Block was a pillar of commerce in downtown Duluth for decades, and in 1969 the venerable department store underwent major renovations. When they were complete, the News Tribune was on hand to document the changes.

The store’s newly remodeled restaurant is featured in the photo above from May of that year. At lower left, patrons (left to right) Gladys Archambault, Clara Hexum and Francis Brandenburg enjoy a coffee break. To the right, restaurant manager Agnes Goff keeps a watchful eye on the operation.

Goff managed the restaurant from 1955 to 1978, according to her obituary in the News Tribune. She died in 2003 at age 90.

The downtown Glass Block store, located at 128-132 W. Superior St., closed in 1981. The building — which had housed the store since 1892 — was razed to make way for what is now the US Bank building at the corner of Superior Street and Second Avenue West.

A second Glass Block store opened in the Miller Hill Mall in 1973. The Glass Block name lingered on at that location until fall 1998, when it was sold and converted into the present-day Younkers store.

Interestingly, the number you would have used to call Ms. Goff at the Glass Block in 1969 — 722-8311 — still is the phone number in use by Younkers at the Miller Hill Mall.

The Glass Block has been featured in several other News Tribune Attic posts: here, here and here.


Here is one more photo from that 1969 remodeling project:

White leather shoes are on special for $8.90:

And, in the background is the Closet Shop:

Swain Invitational, 1969


October 1969

For nearly six decades, hundreds of prep cross-country runners have converged in Duluth’s Enger Park each fall for the Swain Invitational.

The meet is named in honor of John Swain, who coached and taught at Duluth Central High School for 35 years. The first Swain Invitational was held in 1951; in the News-Tribune file photo above, Swain (far left) poses with the champions of the 1969 event. From left, they are Tim Heisel of Hopkins (A race winner), Ed Holtz of Minneapolis Southwest (B race winner) and Tim Oliver of Proctor (sophomore race winner).

Swain started coaching at Morgan Park in 1927, moved to Central the next year and founded the city’s first cross-country program. His teams won four state titles, including the first state meet in 1943. He also coached basketball, track and golf.

In 1967, Swain talked to the News Tribune about how the race took his name:

Swain intended to name it the Central Invitational, but as he put it, “Some of my coaching friends from Minneapolis had a different name in mind. They told me, ‘You can’t wait until a man dies to name something after him.’ ” The name Swain was accepted and now is a common byword around Minnesota prep cross country circles.

Swain retired in 1963, but continued to attend his namesake meet for many years to watch the runners and hand out awards. He died in September 1988 at age 93.