Northern Minnesota

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Cozy Theater in Wadena

The Cozy Theater in Wadena was built in 1914 from a design by Minneapolis architect Kirby Snyder. John Quincer bought the building in 1923, and remodeled it to its present Moderne appearance in 1938....

Hollywood-Inspired Fairyland Cottages in Detroit Lakes

Although the local resort industry near Detroit Lakes stretches back to the 1870s, it wasn’t until the automobile allowed families to become more mobile that Detroit Lakes became known as one of the top...

Stone Ruins of Park Terrace in Duluth

Park Terrace was an opulent building of Victorian townhouses located on a steep hill just off of Mesaba Avenue in Duluth. Built in 1890 by the Meyers Brothers Company, a local real estate business,...

Prehistoric Minnesota Woman

As construction workers were excavating a roadway along the eastern shore of Prairie Lake near Pelican Rapids in 1931, they uncovered one of the most exciting prehistoric finds in this region of North America—a...

Duluth’s Incline Railway

Last fall I was able to cross a few stops in Duluth’s west end off of my to-do list. I wanted to walk the path that once ran alongside the Incline Railway for several...

Interstate Bridge in Duluth

Before the Interstate Bridge was built between Duluth and Superior in the late-1890s, the only way to get between the two cities was by ferry. Of course, ice prevented them from running in the...

Rainy Lake Gold Rush

When people think of the gold rush, they think of California, but Minnesota had its own gold rush. With stories of people striking it rich in California spreading east, even the slightest hint of...

Stewart Creek Stone-Arch Bridge

“The Picturesque is seen in ideas of beauty manifested with something of rudeness, violence, or difficulty. The effect of the whole is spirited and pleasing, but parts are not balanced, proportions are not perfect, and...

The Wreck of the Arthur Orr

The Arthur Orr was a 286’ steel package freighter built by the Chicago Ship Building Company. She was entered into service as a package freighter on the Great Lakes in 1893. The Arthur Orr...

WWI Army Nurse Tena Heglund Johnson

During World War I, the military recruited 20,000 nurses for duty. More than 10,000 of them served overseas during the Great War. Most nurses either served at one of the 58 military hospitals or...

Buchanan: A Town of Firsts

Rumors of copper riches hidden in the North Shore’s streams and hillsides had excited the imaginations of mineral prospectors and speculators for years. Copper towns were numerous along the North Shore of Lake Superior...

The final Government Land Sale in Thief River Falls

One hundred and eleven years ago today (June 20, 1904), the final Government Land Sale took place in Thief River Falls. A crowd of towns people and hopeful settlers gathered on the north side...

Huson’s Sandwich Shop

Huson’s Sandwich Shop, pictured here in 1935, was a popular eatery on Pokegama Avenue in Grand Rapids for several decades. Huson’s was located between Second and Third Avenues. The shop was owned by Leo...

Central School in Grand Rapids

Interior of the Central School in downtown Grand Rapids. Built in 1895, the three story building served as an elementary school from 1895 to 1972. A community effort restored the building in 1984 and...

The Pine River Dam

The Pine River Dam near Brainerd was the fourth dam built as part of the Mississippi River Headwaters Reservoirs system. The original timber dam was constructed from 1884-1886. A concrete dam replaced it in 1905....

A Thief River Falls Railroad Crew

A railroad crew poses on the tracks with shovels. This crew laid track near Thief River Falls around 1905. Behind the crew, a pump trolley is visible on the tracks. A pump car is...

The Mesaba Railway

The Mesaba Railway ran streetcar service between Hibbing and North Hibbing. This car is stopped near the Oliver Hotel on Third Avenue in North Hibbing in 1921. This stop was at the north end...

The Gales of November: George Herbert Shipwreck

It was a typical Monday morning for the crew of the flat-bottomed scow, George Herbert. Captain Charlie Johnson and lumber clerk William Hicks were discussing their trip one-hundred miles up the north shore of...

Spruce Creek CCC Camp

Superintendents at the Spruce Creek Civilian Conservation Corps camp near Lutsen in the mid-1930s. Workers at the Spruce Creek CCC camp were responsible for building the many of the trails in the Cascade River...

First National Bank in Ironton

This photo of the First National Bank in Ironton (Crosby) shows the wealth that flowed through the Cuyuna Iron Range in the 1920s. Two tellers were always available to customers — one to receive...

A 1957 Harp Recital

Such a beautiful instrument. Students from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth playing harps at a recital in 1957. Pictured left to right are Dea Bowden, Betty Dunlap, Ann Sander, Vivian Schuldt, Elverna...

Concord Coach Line

Colonel Alvaren Allen began stagecoach service from St. Paul to Crow Wing with his four-horse Concord coach line in 1854. As the need to travel west and south of St. Paul grew, so did...

Minnesota’s First Vocational School

In February 1915, students poured into the first vocational school in the state. Located in the mining town of Eveleth, this school was the first education building in Minnesota to be devoted entirely to...

Rathskeller Over the Rhine

German immigrant Thomas Erdel opened the Rathskeller Over the Rhine (great name!) in the late 1800s. Pictured here in 1905, the saloon stood on the corner of Second Avenue N and First Street in...

Minnesota’s Northwest Angle

At a glance, nothing peculiar stands out about Minnesota on a map. It’s when you take a longer look that you’ll notice it. Along the northern border there is a small piece of land...

Little Marais Inn Gallery

More information about the Little Marais Inn can be found here.

The Legend of John Beargrease

Since 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has attracted mushers from around the world. Beginning in Duluth and running 400 miles along the north shore of Lake Superior to the Canadian border, the...

The Gales of November: Lafayette Shipwreck

One of the earliest victims of the big blow on Lake Superior on November of 1905 was the steamer Lafayette and her barge, the Manila. After passing through Soo, the Lafayette was caught west of...

The Gales of November: Mataafa Shipwreck

A gale swept Lake Superior after extraordinary high pressure began to fall on November 27, 1905. Snow, ice pellets, freezing temperatures and mountainous seas caused havoc all over the big lake. The most spectacular...

Taconite Harbor – Lake Superior’s Once-Upon-A-Time Town

In 1957, trucks loaded with prefabricated homes rolled along Highway 61 toward a new building site just south of Schroeder. By 1990 the homes were leaving the same way they arrived. In the 1950s,...

Elegant Dining on the North Shore

If it weren’t for a sign announcing that you’ve arrived in Little Marais, you may just speed through this little resort town on your way north on Highway 61. Scandinavian fishermen settled in the...

The Gales of November: Crescent City Shipwreck

Shortly after midnight on November 28, 1905 the Crescent City dropped anchor in 90-feet of water on Lake Superior. A nor’easter began to blow and the 406-foot steamer was digging in to ride it...

A Turn of the Century Trestle in Akeley

If you travel north on Highway 64 through central Minnesota, you will likely pass through Akeley. It’s is a small town of about 400 residents and nearly as many lakes. Nowadays, it’s hard to...

Scandal at Duluth’s Hardy School

By the 1880s, Duluth pioneer Luther Mendenhall had become on of the city’s most prominent citizens. The Civil War veteran came to Duluth in 1869 as an agent for the Western Land Company. His...