Superior Street before the I-35 tunnels, 1983

Here’s a photo of East Superior Street from Oct. 10, 1983, right before construction of the Interstate 35 tunnels in the vicinity of the Fitger’s Brewery complex and Leif Erikson Park:

Scattered among the many buildings that were demolished for the extension of I-35 eastward from downtown to 26th Avenue East, you can see the buildings that survived – Fitger’s just visible at lower right, the Portland Malt Shoppe, Sir Benedict’s, the Kitchi Gammi Club and more. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Also visible is an odd diagonal street cutting across the lower half of the image. That was one-block-long Washington Avenue, which was mostly swallowed up by the freeway construction:

What perhaps could be called a small nub of Washington Avenue still exists today, angling off First Street at Seventh Avenue East next to Expert Tire, leading to the back alley.

The Expert Tire building, visible at left center above, has an angled edge along Washington Avenue – it retains that shape to this day, though the street that caused it to be built that way has been gone now for more than 25 years.

Here are a couple more views of that area from October 1983. This first shot was taken the same day as the photo above, Oct. 10 (click on the photo for a larger view); all photos with this post were taken by the News Tribune’s Charles Curtis:

And this photo was taken later in the month, on Oct. 25, 1983, looking southwest along Superior Street from in front of Sir Benedict’s as buildings were razed for the pending freeway construction:

Here’s a related past Attic post, on efforts to preserve the Fitger’s Brewery complex as the freeway plans were created: Saving Fitger’s from the wrecking ball

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Superior church’s steeple comes crashing down, 1982

September 2, 1982

The steeple of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church lies damaged at Birch Avenue and North 14th Street in Superior on Thursday, Sept. 2, 1982. The 38-foot steeple was being lifted from the soon-to-be-demolished church when a crane tipped, sending the steeple crashing to the ground. (Jack Renudlich / News-Tribune)

Steeple falls prey to crane

By Larry Oakes, News-Tribune staff writer (appeared in paper on Sept. 3, 1982)

“My reaction was just plain fright. Everything was coming along beautifully, and all at once it swung and started to crash down through the wiring.”

The exasperated speaker was Sophie Butler, 68, of 24-B Hayes court, Superior. She had come Thursday to St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and School in Superior to pay her last respects to her former church, which is scheduled to be razed.

However, the church’s 38-foot steeple was going to be salvaged for use as a beach house. Butler and her husband, Joe, 68, watched as a crane began lifting the steeple from the building.

The couple, longtime members of the church as Birch Avenue and North 14th Street, were taking snapshots and reminiscing. It was about 10:15 a.m.

Seconds later, the feelings of nostalgia turned to horror when the crane, holding the suspended steeple about 30 feet above the ground, tipped, sending the steeple crashing to the ground.

“He lifted it off and everything seemed OK,” said Max Taubert, 29, of 3310 Minnesota Ave., Duluth. “But it came down kind of fast once it started. There was no stopping it. It only took about four seconds.”

Taubert had wanted to convert the carved, metal-faced steeple into a beach house.

“There was a lot of scurrying around,” said Cliff Anderson, whose company, Anderson Sand& Gravel, will demolish the church. Anderson, of 5565 Arrowhead Road, Duluth, sold the steeple to Taubert, who hired Lakehead Constructors of Superior to remove it.

“The crane either broke through the asphalt or the boom started to bend,” Anderson, 40, said. “It made one hell of a lot of noise,” he said, removing a toothpick from his mouth. “Like steel crashing into brick — one of those sounds you don’t hear too often.”

A construction worker is dwarfed by a twisted crane lying in front of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church at 1414 Birch Ave. in Superior on Sept. 2, 1982. No injuries were reported when the crane tipped over and the steeple crashed to the ground. (Jack Rendulich / News-Tribune)

Witnesses said that as the crane tipped, the boom crashed into the entry of the brick building.

Tim Bernard, 35, of Superior, owner of Lakehead, estimated repair to the crane will run from $25,000 to $30,000. “It will be usable,” Bernard said. “We’ll have to cut the boom and get it off the building. Then it will have to be repaired.”

“I would say the outrigger (a support leg) went into the ground,” he said. “It sure wasn’t the weight.”

Taubert said he will probably be out about $1,000, “mostly for the crane time.”

“I’ve already got more into it than it’s worth,” he said. “I had the option of insuring it before I took it off, but it was $1,000 deductible.”

When the boom toppled, it knocked out some adjacent electric and phone lines, resulting in a power outage in that section of Superior for two hours. Residents were without power in an area bounded by North 12th and Belknap streets on the north and south, and the Soo Line tracks and Catlin Avenue on the east and west, said Dick Kennedy, a Superior Water, Light & Power Co. official. Power was restored by 12:30 p.m., Kennedy said.

Wisconsin Telephone Company representative Kendall Nelson said the accident affected only two phone customers.

The steeple of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Superior crashed to the ground after a crane toppled on Sept. 2, 1982. (Jack Rendulich / News-Tribune)

The 67-year-old church currently awaits the wrecking ball. It was closed because of a shortage of priests and teachers in the Superior Diocese, Joe Butler said.

The school was shut down in 1968 because sisters were in short supply and no money was available to hire lay teachers. When the cornerstone was laid in 1915 the church boasted 450 families in its membership. By 1982, that number shrank to 150, according to Joe Butler, who was president of the church council.

“All my life I was in the parish,” Butler recalled, his eyes fixed. “I was baptized here, married here, my mother and father both had funeral services here.

Sophie Butler watched the cleanup operation from a yard across the street. “It’s a weird feeling because we were parishioners for so long.”

Across the street workers had started the lopsided crane and were feeding out cable that was still hooked to the steeple. What was left of the structure snapped and creaked slightly as it settled to the ground.

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As you may have noted, the steeple-crane accident happened almost exactly 30 years ago, on Sept. 2, 1982. Less than a week later, crews moved ahead with the razing of the main church building. Here are some photos of that:

A wrecking ball crashes into the remainder of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church at 1414 Birch Ave. in Superior on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 1982. (Bob King / News-Tribune)

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Florence Bozinski (left), Sandy Anderson (center) and Sandy’s son Wayne, 11, all of Superior, watch as crews demolish St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Superior on Sept. 8, 1982. (Bob King / News-Tribune)

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Cliff Anderson (foreground) and Ron Johnson, both of Duluth, watch as St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Superior is razed on Sept. 8, 1982. (Bob King / News-Tribune)

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West Duluth before the paper mill, 1986

The site of the proposed paper mill in West Duluth, south of Interstate 35 and east of Central Avenue, as seen in February 1986. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the NewPage paper mill in West Duluth, which opened its doors in 1987 as Lake Superior Paper Industries. To build the plant, a neighborhood of homes in West Duluth was cleared. Here are some views of that lost neighborhood; click on the photos for a larger view.

Another aerial view of the proposed paper mill site in West Duluth, taken in February 1986 after plans for the paper mill were announced but before construction started. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

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Stan and Marilyn Wabik fought eviction from their home at 32 N. 53rd Ave. W, on the site of the proposed paper mill. They’re seen here on Feb. 8, 1986. (John Rott / News-Tribune)

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The paper mill site in West Duluth with some construction under way on July 22, 1986. Jeno Paulucci’s Chun King plant is visible at lower left, with Interstate 35 at lower right in this view looking south. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

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The paper mill site in West Duluth with some construction under way on July 22, 1986. Jeno Paulucci’s Chun King plant is visible at center left, with the Bong Bridge in the distance. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

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Newfangled ‘electronic’ mail, 1976

When I’m looking for something on microfilm of old papers, I find a lot of other interesting stories and ads – sometime much more interesting than what I was searching for in the first place.

Here’s one such item. from the Sunday, June 20, 1976, issue of the News-Tribune. It has nothing to do with Duluth specifically, but I found it amusing to see how much times and technology have changed:

Electronic mail eyed

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Postal Service is taking the first steps toward establishing an electronic mail system that promises overnight delivery of letters at a price no higher than current rates.

The mail agency has signed a $2.2 million contract with the RCA Corp. to study what alternatives are available to the Postal Service in the area of computerized message systems.

“We know it is technologically feasible to have a national electronic message service. We could do it today,” said Ralph Marcotte, Postal Service project manager for the RCA contract.

“The question we want answered now is whether there is a national market for it,” he said. “The chances are very good that the study will come up with at least one alternative that is economically feasible and that would be accepted by the public.”

Technology exists to use leased lines, facsimile devices, communications satellites and other devices to send messages electronically.

One possible application is for the Postal Service to establish “electronic mail kiosks” at such places as shopping centers. A person could enter a message written in block letters into a machine equipped with optical character readers that could convert the message into digital form.

The message then could be transmitted to a Postal Service receiving unit near the addressee. A computer printout of the message could be delivered with the next day’s mail.

Another possibility is for a business to link its own computer electronically with that of the nearest Postal Service message station. “His computer would talk to our computer and then ours would send the message electronically, Marcotte said.

The message could be received by computer by the addressee or a printout could be delivered conventionally.

“The cost of sending a onepage business document would be as low as a nickel per page, not including any delivery costs,” he said.

Marcotte said the chances appear good for delivering an electronic letter for the same or less than the current 13-cent price of a first-class letter.

One potential problem with electronic mail is that private companies now entering the field of electronic message systems may complain about competition from the government.

Marcotte said systems run by private enterprise ”would tend to go along routes of high profitability and high usage” while the Postal Service would try to serve all areas of the country.

Officials point out that the Postal Service already has a nationwide delivery network, an asset that companies do not have.

An electronic system would enable the Postal Service to save considerable mail handling. The Postal Service now employs about 700,000 workers, nearly 1 per cent of the American labor force, in moving the mail.

Postal officials say another possible advantage to the agency would be that electronic mail could recover business that the Postal Service has been losing in recent years. Use of the mail has been declining, partly because of rising mail rates and partly because of the increasing use of privately owned electronic communications at the expense of the U.S. mail.

The Postal Service could begin offering an electronic mail service ”as soon as three years from now if everything goes right,” Marcotte said.

”We have the obvious option of growing in steps as demand for the service grows. We could start with leased lines and then later go to satellites, for example,” he said.

Marcotte said a possible ”second generation” is for people to buy a ”black box” to receive mail electronically in his own home. This is not feasible yet, he said.

Marcotte said electronic mail ”would be a supplement to the present first-class mail and eventually might be a substitute.” He concedes that this ”would be a rather radical departure from the present postal system. It certainly would change our image.”

– end –

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Remembering KDAL overnight DJ ‘Little Joe’ Laznick

April 10, 1966

Former taxi, truck and ambulance driver turned disc jockey Joseph “Little Joe” Laznick keeps watch over his nighttime family in this photo from April 1966. (Charles Curtis / News-Tribune)

Pre-Dawn Jockey

Little Joe Spins Night Away

By Wayne Wangstad, News-Tribune staff writer

A world of grooved plastic spins away the time for a nightworker who entertains the restless during the early hours of a new day.

Between those midnight to 6 a.m. hours, KDAL radio’s “Little Joe” plies his trade as a disc jockey, keeping watch over what he calls his nighttime “family.”

Little Joe – the moniker follows the parallel of Robin Hood’s Little John, only with reference to girth – has never used his own name, Joseph M. Laznick, on the air. He prefers to be known by the self-selected name that leaves little else to be said.

Most radio listeners tune their ear to an announcer’s voice, then come up with an image of what he looks like. A woman, for instance, may hear a deep, resounding voice and, in her mind, view the man as a handsome fugitive from Muscle Beach. Oh, the disappointment when she sees he’s a scrawny, crow-like 98-pound weakling.

An image had been formed before the interview with Little Joe. But the graying, skinny, guitar-carrying man was not to be found. Looking younger than his 32 years, the DJ was surprising only because the “Little Joe” analogy had not registered. The most important thing, that friendly, smiling voice that see other nightworkers home, was there, however.

A former taxi, truck and ambulance driver turned radio announcer, Liitle Joe concurs with other nocturnal working types. He likes night work – and has more than 10 years of it under his Jackie Gleason-like belt. “Jackie Gleason,” Little Joe jokes, “and I would have something in common except that I’m fatter and he makes a million dollars a year.”

Armed with a folksy resonant voice touched with a slight nasal twang, which sometimes sounds as though he were rhythmically rolling marbles from one side of his jowls to another, Little Joe works alone yet has the company of hundreds of other nightworkers.

“Night is a lonely time,” he said with his sincere, homespun inflection. “Any person who works nights must (he emphasized that word) be a night person himself. And he must understand the motives of this type of person,” he insisted.

Little Joe’s musical format, as he describes it, is “everything.” That means he plays everything from country western to the long-hair stuff, including listener requests.

KDAL nighttime DJ “Little Joe” Laznick in the studio on Oct. 15, 1978. (Joey McLeister / News-Tribune)

Explaining that his show is best described as “public service radio” – news, weather, sports and music – Little Joe says he keeps in touch with an after-sundown family composed of doctors, lawyers, steelworkers, police and firemen and insomniacs. Unable to get desired information from the morning newspaper, which has not yet arrived, or from television, then no longer on the air, they call the night disc jockey.

Two particular occasions brought a flood of phone calls, the radio announcer revealed. Steelworkers concerned over a threatened strike phoned for information, as did parents of men stationed in Alaska when an earthquake spread trembling havoc there.

The phone calls, Little Joe asserts, make up his “family.”

“Night people are a funny family,” he offered. “Women may call me up and tell me about their husband’s job promotion, or that he got fired. Or they may want advice on a job transfer.”

No all of the “family” calls are congenial, however. “Some of the family cal me up and bawl me out when I do something wrong,” he revealed.

“These people are not kooks,” Joe said as a bit of the friendly homespun air in his voice was replaced with fiery conviction. “These people are lonely. … If they have a problem of if they’re crying, I usually try to find time to talk to them and try to help them.”

A night nurse at a Duluth hospital, Little Joe explained, is typical of the callers. “She phoned and said ‘I won’t be calling the next three nights because I’m off (work)’ ” the DJ said.

Anything unusual about the night work? “The oddity of this type of work,” the announcer insisted, “is the closeness of strangers. You have a bond that’s probably best explained by a mutual dependency.

Several Twin Ports mothers, for instance, have a certain dependency on Little Joe when their children refuse to go to bed. “They’ll ask that I tell the kids to go to bed. Surprisingly, most of the mothers call back and explain that the kids have done what they were told after I’ve talked with them,” he said.

The rotund disc jockey, who races stock cars as a hobby, stands aside from most other nightworkers’ waking-sleeping hours. Off at 6 a.m., he usually goes home then has breakfast and stays up until 3 p.m., when he goes to bed. Then it’s up at 10:30 p.m. to meet his on-air deadline when the hands of the clock are straight up. Unlike most after-sundown workers on the slumber angle, he is like others in that he can participate in most social activities because of his late working hours.

What’s his retort to the sunshine workers? “At 2 p.m., when the sun is highest, you can’t go out for a ride, but I can. And when it’s midnight and you’re just going to bed, I’m just starting to have my fun,” was his prompt reply.

In radio for nearly 2 1/2 years now, about a year of it at KDAL, Little Joe fill several slots in his solo night trick. Shagging records for requests, checking sources and preparing stories for upcoming newscasts consumes a good share of his time. Occasionally, he will interview a recording artist or entertainer on his show.

The DJ’s longest stint, 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, is followed by his only night off.

Any conclusions about working when most people are sleeping? Little Joe used that friendly, folksy voice to paraphrase something he’d mentioned earlier. “You have to be genuinely and seriously interested in – and understand – night people.” Just what he meant by that was not clear, but it was evident that he was talking about that undefinable thing which he likes so much, his radio “family.”

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Joseph “Little Joe” Laznick, February 1974 (News-Tribune photo)

In February 1980, the Duluth Herald reported that Little Joe Laznick, then hosting the all-night “Vacationland Calling” show on KDAL, had “received a substantial bequest from an anonymous listener.”

Under conditions of the 71-year-old woman’s will, Laznick was not allowed to give her name or reveal the size of the bequest. But he said he was told the woman left him the money “because I comforted her by playing music on the radio and chatting with her on the phone” during his all-night broadcasts.

He continued on the all-night show until about 1984, and also played bass and sang with the local band the Du-Als. In June 1987, the News-Tribune reported that Laznick was suffering from kidney disease and needed a transplant; friends organized several benefits for him. He died on Dec. 14, 1987, at age 54.

Archive aerial views of the Twin Ports

I came across two (and was e-mailed a third) old aerial photos of the Twin Ports. Here they are (click on the photos for a larger view):

View over the West End and the Rice’s Point rail yards toward the Blatnik Bridge, 1970. (News Tribune file photo)

This photo shows construction of Interstate 35 (and I-535), including parts of the “Can of Worms” interchange, in 1970. The Blatnik Bridge, seen in the distance, had already been open for several years at the time of this photo; its traffic was directed onto Garfield Avenue (where you can see part of Goldfine’s-by-the-Bridge Department Store).

The photo also captures a sliver of the West End business district. Here’s a closer view of Superior Street:

From left to right, you can see a DX service station / car wash; Enger & Olson furniture (with J & J Phillips 66 service station across Superior Street); 19th Avenue West; and the West End Liquor Store, with a billboard on the side that reads “Scotch Scotch” (perhaps Ron Burgundy could have shopped there back in the day).

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Here’s a view of the Burlington Northern ore docks in Superior from 1977. The Mesabi Miner is berthed at the ore dock on the right. On the left, the nearer boat has “Inland Steel” on its side; I can’t make out the ship name, but it looks like the distinctive Edward L. Ryerson, which currently is in long-term layup at Fraser Shipyards just a few miles from where this photo was taken. The name of the third boat can’t been read in this picture.

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And courtesy of Gary Androsky over at the Superior Telegram, here’s an image from the Telegram’s files of Interstate 35 being extended through downtown Duluth in the 1980s – the tunnels are under construction in this view, which also provides a good look at much of downtown; click on the photo for a much larger image.

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The end of Golden Guernsey 4-percent milk in Duluth

December 1990

Unused cartons of Barnum’s milk show the old Golden Guernsey labels, which were phased out in 1990, the same year production of the 4-percent variety (right) stopped. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)

Requiem for a heavyweight

Diet craze kills an institution built around Golden Guernsey 4% milk

By J.P. Furst, News-Tribune staff writer

This has been a lean year for “4-percent drinkers” in the Twin Ports, the hard-core consumers of a heavy, old-fashioned milk bottled in Duluth for nearly 40 years.

Barnum’s Golden Guernsey Milk – a creamy, high-fat milk produced only by Guernseys and packaged in Duluth’s West End – disappeared from local dairy cases last spring.

For longtime connoisseurs, it left an empty spot in the refrigerator and on the kitchen table.

It marked the passing of a Duluth institution, a local custom that harked back to the days when every neighborhood had its own dairy and the milkman brought glass-bottled milk to your door.

Like it said on the carton, “Guernsey cows are the only cows that give you milk like this.”

“There were a lot of true 4-percenters out there,” said Art Massie Jr., an ex-employee of the 49-year-old family business that distributes Barnum’s milk. “That milk had a real richness and ‘tastability’ to it. It was a unique product.”

In the heyday of high-fat milk, about 20 years ago, Massie said the Barnum’s line distributed about 5,000 half-gallons a week to corner groceries and the new supermarkets coming of age in Duluth.

“Those were the days when you had a grocery on every corner,” said Massie, 59. “You got to know the grocer and build a relationship, and you got to know your customers. The Barnum’s line was the only one that was in every Twin Ports store through those years.”

Art Massie Jr. is shown on Dec. 6, 1990, in front of the family business, which distributes Barnum’s milk. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)

“It was mainly older people who bought it, people who may have grown up on creamier milk,” said Harvey Winthrop, owner of the Ideal Market in downtown Duluth. “They were looking for a richer milk, and Golden Guernsey was the richest on the market.”

It certainly was. Pure Guernsey milk contains 4-percent milkfat or more, at least 1 percent more than Holstein milk. It has 10 percent more milk solids in it. It has the consistency of half-and-half – almost like a thin milk shake.

It tasted great.

“Fat tastes good,” said Wally Gronholm, president and general manager at Franklin Foods in Duluth, which bottled the milk for Barnum’s. “It’s a fact. Most of us who like good food like fat. That’s why we like hamburgers and fries. they’re full of fat and they taste good.”

But most Americans are trimming fat out of their diets and that’s becoming obvious in milk-drinking habits. “Skim, 1- and 2-percent milks are the ones people are buying now. The average fat content of all the milk we bottle is less than 2 percent now. That’s a big change from 10 years ago.”

The demand for Golden Guernsey milk was drying up, said Steve Massie, Art’s nephew, who now owns the family business. They were distributing only about 1,000 half-gallons a week earlier this year.

The number of Guernseys milked by Northland farmers was also dwindling, and it was getting more expensive to truck the milk to market.

“It became unprofitable after a certain point,” said Massie, 40. “But you miss having something so completely unique on the market.”

Half-gallon cartons of Barnum’s milk roll down the production line at Franklin Foods in Duluth on Dec. 6, 1990. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)

For some people, it was like when Fitger’s quit producing beer, or when Joe Huie’s cafe locked its doors for good. “We still get calls now and then, asking how come it’s not bottled anymore,” he said.

“They had their loyal customers, all right,” said Mark Miller, co-owner of Snow White Food Center on Wopdland Avenue. “That’s all some people would drink. They’d come in and buy the Guernsey milk religiously – until their doctors told them to drink lower-fat milk.”

The Barnum’s label itself is representative of the changes in the local milk business. It exists on paper only – or on wax cartons. The milk is actually packaged by Franklin Foods, as are Arrowhead and Kemps milk. The Massies’ company simply owns the right to the Barnum label and is a distributor.

Since dropping the Golden Guernsey line, Barnum’s milk is now similar to its competitors’ products, but people remain loyal, Steve Massie said.

“Barnum’s still exists because we have very loyal customers and we give good service,” said Massie, who remembers helping his grandfather, Art Massie Sr., package cottage cheese in his basement on St. Paul Avenue in the ’50s. “That’s been our family’s tradition since 1941. It’s the main ingredient in our success.”

Steve Massie of Massie Distributing, distributors of Barnum’s milk, loads a truck at the Franklin Foods Dairy in Duluth’s West End on Dec. 6, 1990. (Dave Ballard / News-Tribune)

The only place in the Northland where 4-percent milk is still in the stores is around Ashland, Wis., he said. “We thought about buying our Guernsey milk from a bottler over in Waukesha, Wis., but it didn’t seem feasible to bring it in here.”

There’s a certain amount of Guernsey milk in all of the milk packed at the Franklin plant in Duluth, but it’s nothing you can taste. “All milk tastes pretty much the same once you take the fat out,” said Gronholm. “A Guernsey drinker might give me an argument about that, but it’s true.”

Were the Massies “true 4-percenters”? Did they pour that heavyweight milk, as viscous as 10W-40 motor oil, on their corn flakes at home?

Steve said, “Nah. We were down to 2 percent milk at my house.”

Art, a wiry man with a long memory, chuckled. “That’s what I’m down to, too.”

Even the milkman has to go with the flow.

– end –

After typing in this archive article, I’m a little confused about the lamentations over the loss of 4-percent milk. You can still buy whole milk – is that not the same thing? Was the “Golden Guernsey” variety something unique, unlike other brands of whole milk? If you remember – and if you know any more about when the Barnum’s brand name disappeared from local shelves – please post a comment.

And while we’re at it, can you think of any other unique, Northland-favorite food products, past or present? Over at Perfect Duluth Day there have been occasional discussions about Connolly’s Tom and Jerry Batter. What other local favorites can you think of? Again, post a comment to contribute to the conversation.

Now boarding at Gate 1… Duluth Airlines

As so often happens when scanning old newspapers on microfilm, I was looking for one thing today and came across something else more interesting. This time it was microfilm from March 17, 1946, and I stumbled across this ad:

Duluth Airlines? I had never heard of that before. I searched online, and found this information from a June 4, 1946 Milwaukee Journal article:

“Duluth Airlines, which is operating a charter service with one daily round trip between Chicago, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Duluth and Hibbing, Minn., Monday asked the civil aeronautics board for approval of the airlines’ application for this and three feeder routes in Wisconsin.

“Jack Cavanaugh, Duluth president, told CAB Examiner H.K. Bryan in Washington, D.C., that without approval of the application, the firm would discontinue its present service. The airline operates two 14-passenger Lockheed Lodestar planes.”

And here are excerpts from a Nov. 4, 1946 Milwaukee Journal article about Duluth Airlines:

“The firm was incorporated in Minnesota last year by a group of naval air veterans. (Examiner Herbert K.) Bryan recommended that it be granted a three-year certificate to operate to these cities: Chicago; Fargo, N.D.; Bemidji, Brainerd, St. Cloud, Hibbing, Duluth, Minn.; Iceland; Rhinelander, Wausau, Stevens Point, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wis.; Ironwood, Iron Mountain, Marquette, Escanaba, Marinette, Mich.; Fort Dodge, Waterloo, Dubuque, Iowa; and Rockford, Ill.

“Duluth proposes to operate five Lockheed Lodestars and Douglas DC-3s. Hangar facilities and maintenance equipment, the application said, will be housed at Hibbing, the origination and destination point of most flights.”

That’s where the trail runs cold from my initial search; there’s nothing in the indexed files in the News Tribune archives. Can any of you fill in the gaps about what happened to Duluth Airlines? Did it go out of business? Merge with another company? If you have any information, please post a comment.

Corner of Superior and Fourth Avenue East, 1959

This photo from the News Tribune files, which appears to be dated 1959, shows the north side of Superior Street looking from the corner of Fourth Avenue East. The site of the building being torn down in this picture is now the home of Voyageur Lakewalk Inn. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The back of the photo has the address of the doomed building – 329 E. Superior – and the word “landmark,” without further explanation. Can anyone shed light on this mystery? Why would this building have been a landmark, or otherwise special for some reason?

According to a 1959 city directory (and confirmed by a small sign in the window), the last occupant of the building was Speedometer Service auto repair. Next door at 331, in a structure already razed by the time this photo was taken, the 1959 directory lists Larry’s Clutch & Brake Service, George-N-Henry outboard motors and a few apartment tenants.

To the left…

… in 1959 the building at 323 E. Superior, the facade of which is just visible, housed The Antrobus Shop, a women’s clothing store. The sign right below the shop’s billboard points the way to Hutchinson’s used car lot across the street.

The Antrobus Shop building survives today – it apparently now houses a tattoo shop – tucked between the Voyageur Lakewalk Inn and the Hacienda del Sol restaurant building.

At upper right (perhaps better seen in the full picture), you can see the unique roof line of the Hemlock Garage building. And some of those buildings in the background, up along First Street, still stand today, though obscured from this vantage point by a parking ramp (see below).

Here’s one more zoomed-in view, of the demolition workers forever frozen in time atop the building:

Here are two present-day views of this site, starting with an approximate re-creation of the original photo:

And for a better view of the former Antrobus Shop building, here’s a look down the block to the west:

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Corner of Superior and Lake, circa 1930

This photo, which dates to about 1930, shows the corner of Superior Street and Lake Avenue in downtown Duluth; it’s looking east up Superior Street.

At far right in the Freimuth’s Department Store building, and the dominant facade across Lake Avenue belongs to the Bradley Building. Next door to the Bradley Building is a building that, in this photo, appears to be home to the Boston Piano Co. (see close-up below). It appears to be the same structure that housed the Famous Clothing Co. for many years, and which survives today as the home of the Electric Fetus music store.

Here are some zoomed-in views of the store signs (click on the photos for a larger view):

I’m basing the date for this photo (there’s no caption information) mostly on the movie playing at the Strand Theater, next door to Boston Piano Co. It’s “The Other Tomorrow” starring Billie Dove, which Internet sources say was released in 1930. Certainly the cars must give some clue to the date, too, but that’s not an area of expertise for me.

And one other thing I noted…

A former home of the News Tribune (then apparently known as the “T.N.T.” as opposed to the “DNT”), in a building that still stands today, in renovated form, as part of the Wieland Block development.

Spot anything else interesting in these images? Share your memories and stories by posting a comment.