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.

Mine accidents March 11, 1911


Two mine accidents occurred on the Iron Range on March 11, 1911.The Norman Mine, an open-pit mine near Virginia, collapsed about 6 p.m. while 30 men were working 125 feet underground. Approximately 500,000 tons of debris—iron ore, rock, earth, and ice—buried 26 of the miners. Four men survived, three with serious injuries. The Duluth News Tribune of March 12, 1911, described the site on the night of the accident:

The place that was an “open pit” 125 feet deep this afternoon is tonight an immense covered tomb of rock, iron ore and earth, with here and there parts of a body in sight or a head sticking out of the mass. Arms and legs can be made out at varying angles as the great lantern of the steam shovel is swung over a scene appearing as if it were a battlefield heaved from the infernal regions.

 On the same day, a cave-in at the Elba Mine near Gilbert trapped three miners in a shaft 150 feet underground. A three-inch pipe was used to provide air to the men. Two of the men, William Stone and Joe Babich, died in the cave-in, but Joseph Benny, referred to as Capt. Benny, was rescued after eight hours.

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
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

Millie Baker, 1887-1915, Opera Singer

Millie Baker in 1912 (Duluth News Tribune Sept. 1, 1912)

Amelia Baker was born in Minnesota in December, 1887. Her parents, either biological or foster parents (it’s not clear) were Alfred George Baker and Mary Ann Baker. Alfred was born in England in the 1840s. He immigrated to America around 1860 and fought in the Civil War on the Union side, serving in the 61st New York Infantry. He came to Duluth around 1880 and worked for years as a marine engineer. Mary Ann was born in Ireland about 1862. She came to America in 1874. She and Alfred lived in Duluth at 2209 Minnesota Avenue on Park Point.

Amelia, who became known as Millie, grew up in Duluth. She studied music under George L. Tyler, a local singer and voice teacher. As a child, Millie performed in many local programs and gained a reputation locally as a promising singer and actress. In March of 1904, she sang the contralto role of Frederic in a local production of Ambroise Thomas’ Mignon at the Lyceum Theater. Millie attended Central High School and is last listed in the 1904 Central yearbook with the class of 1907. She left Duluth in the fall of 1904 to study music in Chicago. By April of 1905, she was performing in New York, and in July she joined the Weber Musical Company; she later joined the Charles Frohman Company. On April 23, 1907, in New York, she was married to musician Alexander Oliver Lynch. On a visit to her parents in Duluth in August of 1908, she was interviewed by the Duluth News Tribune as Mrs. Oliver A. Lynch and asked about her stage career. According to the article, she was living quietly in New York where her husband was engaged in the advertising business. The writer quotes Millie: “Of course I love the stage…I hope to go back to it, although my husband is opposed to it.” She says, “Maybe I can do something to make dear old Duluth proud of me.” Continue reading


 Local news from 20 and 40 years ago from the Duluth News-Tribune. This column appears daily Monday through Saturday in the Duluth News-Tribune. Researched and written by the Reference Staff at the Duluth Public Library                         

News Tribune
July 30, 1967  

Joseph Hawthorne of Provincetown, Mass., former conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, has been engaged as conductor of the Duluth Symphony Orchestra for the 1967-68 season.  Hawthorne succeeds Hermann Herz, conductor for the past 17 years.  

Fire and explosions ravaged the U.S. aircraft carrier Forrestal in the Tonkin Gulf yesterday, killing at least 46 crewmen and injuring 56 others.  Several men from Northeastern Minnesota serve aboard the Forrestal. 

News Tribune
July 30, 1987 

The AIDS scare has slowed the donation of blood, an official with Blood Donors Inc. said yesterday in Duluth.  Executive Director Red Tucker said the blood supply in Northeastern Minnesota is dwindling. 

The turnout for tours during the USS Oliver Hazzard Perry’s four-day visit to Duluth, which ended yesterday, is expected to total about 15,000.  The Perry leaves today for Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.   


Local news from 20 and 40 years ago from the Duluth News-Tribune. This column appears daily Monday through Saturday in the Duluth News-Tribune. Researched and written by the Reference Staff at the Duluth Public Library.

News Tribune
July 9, 1967

Starting at 1 p.m. today, 53 boys will race in the Duluth Soap Box Derby championship on the Hartley Field Derby Track.  The track is one of just eleven in the country owned by a local derby.      

The 1967 Duluth Seaway Portorama celebration will be “the biggest in the eight-year history of the event,” David Allison, Portorama general chairman, said yesterday.  An estimated 30,000 area residents are expected to purchase Portorama buttons.

News Tribune
July 9, 1987

District Court Judges Charles Barnes and David Bouschor said yesterday that St. Louis County doesn’t need the new jail recommended last week by a citizens committee.  The judges said upgrading the old jail would be sufficient for the county’s needs.

Tickets for the Concorde supersonic jetliner’s flight from Duluth to London sold out this week.  The round-trip flight, selling for $2,499, is scheduled to leave Duluth on July 27.

Abraham Kaplan and Irving Copi

Duluth Central High School Debate Team, 1932-33

From the Zenith (Duluth Central High School Yearbook), 1933

Abraham Kaplan and Irving Copi

Noted philosophers, writers, and teachers, Abraham Kaplan and Irving Copi both grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. Kaplan’s family immigrated to the United States from Russia, arriving in Duluth when Abraham was six years of age. Copi was born in Duluth as Irving Copilowish.

Kaplan was younger than Copi but was a year ahead of him at Duluth Central High School, starting there at the age of thirteen in 1931. According to Copi, they first met at debate team tryouts in 1932 and quickly became friends. Kaplan was captain of that debate team.

After graduation from high school in 1933, Kaplan attended the Duluth Junior College for two years, then went off to the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Copi graduated from Duluth Central in 1934 and then attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They both returned to Duluth during the summer breaks and spent their time reading and discussing philosophy, according to Copi.

During the 1938-39 academic year, when both men were attending graduate school, they arranged to study at the University of Chicago, where Bertrand Russell was a guest lecturer.

Irving Copi


Irving M. Copi
From the 1934 Zenith (Duluth Central High School Yearbook)

Internationally known logician and philosopher Irving Marmer Copilowish was born on July 28, 1917, in Duluth, Minnesota. His parents were Samuel B. and Rose (Marmer) Copilowish, who had immigrated from Russia in the 1890s. Samuel had opened East End Cleaners in Duluth in 1914 and operated the business for 45 years at 926 E. Superior St. Irving later shortened his name to Copi, a nickname of his father’s. The family resided at 814 E. First St. when Irving was born, and later moved to 419 Eighteenth Ave. E. Irving had one sibling, an older sister named Priscilla.

Irving attended Duluth Central High School, graduating in 1934. He was active in debate, participating in his junior year on a team captained by Abraham Kaplan, and serving as captain himself in his senior year. He was also active in the Stylus Club, the Zenith (yearbook), the Spectator (school newspaper), and the class play. Continue reading


Local news from 20 and 40 years ago from the Duluth News-Tribune. This column appears daily Monday through Saturday in the Duluth News-Tribune. Researched and written by the Reference Staff at the Duluth Public Library.

News Tribune
June 12, 1967

Gov. Harold E. LeVander has announced the appointment of Jack B. Arnold of Duluth as the governor’s representative to the newly created Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission. The commission was formed to aid the economic development of the region.

Fairmount Park will be the site of the annual school patrol picnic tomorrow morning. Duluth police patrolman William Kehoe, head of the school patrol program, said the day’s highlight will be the awarding of bicycles to a boy and girl.

News Tribune
June 12, 1987

All 95 tickets for the Concorde jetliner’s July 26 90-minute sightseeing flight over Lake Superior and Canada have been sold, according to Dan Russell, executive director of the Duluth Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. The tickets cost $675 each.

Members of the Rotary Club of Duluth voted yesterday to allow women to join the organization. Club President Dave Allison refused to disclose the exact count but said many more than a two-thirds majority of “yes” votes were cast.

Abraham Kaplan

 From the 1933 Zenith (Duluth Central High School Yearbook)

Noted philosopher Abraham Kaplan was born in Odessa, Russia, in 1918, and moved to Duluth, Minnesota, at the age of six with his family. His father was Joseph J. Kaplan, a rabbi, and his mother was Chava Kaplan. Joseph served as rabbi at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue at Third Avenue East and Fourth Street from the mid-1920s until about 1940 . While in Duluth, the family resided at 308 E. Sixth Street and at 229 E. Fourth St.

Abraham had four older sistersEdna, Eva, Etta, and Sadie. He entered Duluth Central High School in 1931 at the age of 13. He was involved in the Stylus Club literary magazine and the Debate Team, and was chosen as captain of the Debate Team for the 1932-33 school year. He graduated from Central in 1933 at 15 years of age. Next to his yearbook photo is the caption: A brilliant scholar, and Centrals finest orator.

Continue reading


Local news from 20 and 40 years ago from the Duluth News-Tribune. This column appears daily Monday through Saturday in the Duluth News-Tribune. Researched and written by the Reference Staff at the Duluth Public Library.

News Tribune
April 27, 1967

Duluth Mayor Ben Boo yesterday ordered a halt to the practice of employees using city cars for private purposes. Boo said there is evidence that many vehicles are being used for noncity business.

The Duluth Builders Show, which opens tomorrow in the Arena, is the first of its kind here. Sponsored by theDuluth Home Builders Association, it will include more than 100 displays and exhibits and two daily stage shows.

News Tribune
April 27, 1987

Selection of a new UMD chancellor has been narrowed down to three finalists — Dr. Lawrence Ianni, Dr. William Vasse and Dr. Barbara Brownstein. The new chancellor will replace Robert Heller, who plans to retire June 30.

Chez’s, 127 W. Superior St., a women’s clothing store for more than 30 years, will close this week, according to owner Ron Beaupre. Chez’s was a victim of Duluth’s three-year Superior Street reconstruction and insufficient free parking, Beaupre said.


Local news from 20 and 40 years ago from the Duluth News-Tribune. This column appears daily Monday through Saturday in the Duluth News-Tribune. Researched and written by the Reference Staff at the Duluth Public Library.

News Tribune
April 14, 1967

The West German freighter Neptun entered the Duluth-Superior Harbor at 6:01 p.m. yesterday to become the first arrival of the 1967 Twin Ports navigation season. The Neptun will leave Duluth for Chicago tomorrow to unload additional cargo.

A 25-foot-high wall of ice stretching for miles across the polar ice cap stopped the Plaisted Polar Expedition advance party yesterday morning. The wall is the greatest obstacle the expedition has yet faced, according to radio operator Jack Fisher.

News Tribune
April 14, 1987

St.Louis County and Duluth reached an agreement yesterday in the dispute over the cost of housing city prisoners in the county jail. The County Board approved a resolution that provides for a $30 fee for keeping a prisoner for eight hours.

Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen asked yesterday for a recount of the results from the April 7 election that he lost by 137 votes. Police officer Herb Bergson defeated Hagen, who was trying for a fourth term, by a 5,764 to 5, 627 margin.