Enger Park Golf Course Opens, 1927.

Judge C.R. Magney hits the first ball at Enger Park, July 2, 1927. From Duluth News Tribune, July 3, 1927.

Judge C.R. Magney hits the first ball at Enger Park, July 2, 1927. From Duluth News Tribune, July 3, 1927.

Duluth’s Enger Municipal Golf Course opened on July 2, 1927. The course was named for Bert J. Enger, who donated $50,000 to the city for the development of park and recreational facilities. The original course was nine holes, but a second nine was added within a couple of years. In addition to speeches, the dedication ceremonies featured an 18-hole medal tournament and driving contests for both men and women. Judge Clarence R. Magney, the former mayor, drove the first ball from the No. 1 tee.

New Clubhouse at Enger Park, 1927. From Duluth News Tribune, July 1, 1927.

The Darling Observatory 1917 – 1972

Darling Observatory, ca. 1930. From the Duluth Public Library slide collection

 
John Henry Darling, a civil engineer from Michigan, came to Duluth in 1884 when he was appointed principal assistant engineer for harbor improvements on Lake Superior, Duluth district. He was heavily involved in the development of the Duluth harbor, the piers, and the breakwater. When he retired in 1913, he focused his energies on travel and his hobby of astronomy.
 
 In 1915, Mr. Darling asked the Duluth City Council for permission to construct, at his own expense, an observatory that would be open to the public to allow people to view celestial objects and to educate them in astronomy. The Council granted him the necessary permission on December 6, 1915, and construction began the following year on a site at Ninth Avenue West and Third Street, next to a city playground and near Mr. Darlings home at 532 West Third Street. Complications regarding the completion of the steel dome caused delays, but the observatory opened in May of 1917, with a long waiting list of people interested to use it. The total cost of the building and equipment was about $12,000, paid entirely by Mr. Darling.   
 
The Darling Observatory had a steel dome 19 feet in diameter and a nine-inch refracting telescope. The building was open six or seven evenings each month for public viewing and lectures on astronomy. Mr. Darling personally oversaw the operations for years and, when he grew too old, hired an assistant. When Mr. Darling died in 1942, at the age of 95, the building was turned over to the city of Duluth. It later became the property of UMD, which operated the observatory into the 1960s. The building was torn down in 1972.

Mr. Darling and nine-inch refracting telescope, ca. 1930. From Popular Astronomy, November 1930.

Enger Tower Dedication

With the impending visit to Duluth of Norway’s King Harald V this October, and the plans for a rededication of Enger Tower at the same time, we wanted to show the program from the original dedication of Enger Tower on June 15, 1939.

Norway’s Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha (Harald’s parents) arrived in Duluth in the afternoon to dedicate the tower. After his address, in which he honored Bert J. Enger for his generous gifts to the city, the Prince unveiled a plaque to be affixed to the tower which read:

Enger Observation Tower
To the memory of Bert J. Enger
1864-1931
Native of Norway
Citizen of Duluth

It was estimated by the Duluth Herald that 5,000 people attended the ceremony. Afterwards, people were allowed to enter and inspect the tower.
Click on the images of the program below to enlarge.

Enger Tower dedication program

Enger Tower dedication program

Duluth Blizzard of 1892

The blizzard of Wednesday, March 9, 1892, began about 4:00 a.m. with snow and winds of around 30 miles per hour.  By 3:30 p.m. the winds were clocked at 60 miles per hour, and four feet of snow had fallen by dawn on Thursday.   Street car service was suspended after noon on Wednesday because of snow accumulating on the tracks—even with the new electric rotary snow plow trying to clear it.  The incline railway was not hindered by the storm.  One man was killed when the smokestack at the Merritt & Rings saw mill in West Duluth blew over and crashed through the mill roof.  Snow drifts of twenty feet formed on the north side of Superior Street, forcing business owners to tunnel through the snow to get to their doorways.  Hundreds of signs and billboards were demolished and roofs damaged by the wind.  On Rice’s Point, the wheat elevators sustained $15,000 worth of damage to their roofs.  An estimated $50,000 to $80,000 of damages were expected from the storm. 

Duluth Daily Tribune, March 10 and 11, 1892  

Superior Superior Street after blizzard–looking east.
Northeast Minnesota Historical Center

Superior Superior Street looking west after snowstorm–from Second Avenue East.
Northeast Minnesota Historical Center

Duluth Winter Frolic, February 18, 1927

Friday, February 18, 1927, was a bitterly cold day, so Speed Day races were postponed until the next day. On Saturday, an estimated 15,000 paid fifty cents (twenty-five cents for children) to view horse races, speed skating, and motorcycle ski-joring on a half-mile track on the lake ice off Lake Shore Park. A 9:00 p.m. dance at the Armory was the final event of the week.


From the 2/17/1927 Duluth News Tribune