The last evening for the Bentleyville "Tour of Lights" display at Bayfront Park was celebrated last evening with a fireworks display as temperatures hovered around 10F.
Bentleyville ended its third year in Duluth and is quickly becoming a wonderful Holiday tradition for many families.
CAP T TOM MACKAY a long time resident of Park Point sent in this picture of him out for a sail on the Duluth Harbor " Hard Water".
------------------ Ahoy Denny. As you stated I have lived on the Point for a long time, 1944, with the first two days of my life spent up-town at St. Lukes. This is a photo of my Mom on my Dads Iceboat around 1939, just so you can see how this sport got in my blood. The other photo is of my first Iceboat the "Sputnic" named after a current event back a few years ago. A misspell of Spitnik. Captain Tom Mackay (Ret.) Park Point's Affluent Poor
On the IPad you have an option to view the mobile version of the site or the web version.
Some users have reported that they have a different format -- this is the mobile version. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see a link to " View Web Version" - this should open up the standards version with the camera thumbnails.
So, if the format looks different -- go to the "View Web Version" at the bottom of the screen.
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The Federal Sakura arrived at 20:45 last evening and is the last saltie (ocean going vessel) of the season.
When a cold tear drop rolled down my face, I could tell if it was because of the cold breeze blowing off Lake Superior or the nostalgia of seeing the last ocean freighter of the year.
Two tugs waited in the inky black water to assist the boat to Peavey Elevator for a load of grain.
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The Blatnik Bridge side-by-side with the remains of the Interstate Bridge.
By: Tony Dierckins Zenith City Online - On this day in Duluth and Superior in 1961, the Duluth-Superior Bridge opened to automobile traffic, the first modern bridge to span the St. Louis Bay between the neighboring cities, known since the 1890s as the Twin Ports. The new span replaced the Interstate Bridge, a swinging toll bridge that stretched from Rice’s Point in Duluth to Connor’s Point in Superior from 1897 until 1961. (It was partially dismantled in 1971, and a remaining portion of the bridge still stretches from Rice’s Point and is used as a fishing dock.) To allow shipping traffic to pass beneath the structure, the 7,975-foot bridge rose 120 feet above the water. It quickly became known as the High Bridge. In order to build the 2,800-foot approach to the new bridge, nearly the entire Garfield Avenue Residential District was razed. In 1971 the bridge was renamed the John A. Blatnik Bridge in honor of the DFL congressman from Chisholm who played a major role in making the bridge a reality. When the bridge was rededicated in Blatnik’s name in 1971, Secretary of Transportation John Volpe said that Blatnik “played a key role in establishing and fostering the foundation for this magnificent [Interstate Highway] program back during the Eisenhower Administration.” John Blatnik was a big supporter of the St. Lawrence Seaway, helped pass the 1972 Clean Water Act—and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When he retired after 28 years in office (1947–1975), Jim Oberstar—Blatnik’s administrative assistant—took his place in Congress. Oberstar served until January, 2011.
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By Tony Dierkins: Zenith City Online
On this day in 1940, the USS Paducah—training vessel of the Duluth Naval Militia—and her crew of naval reservists from Duluth arrived in Brooklyn, New York, where it would spend the next few years training sailors for battle during the Second World War. Launched in 1904, the Paducah was a Dubuque-class gunboat that joined the U.S. Navy’s Caribbean Squadron in 1906. During World War I the Paducah operated out of Gibraltor, escorting convoys on the way to North Africa, Italy, the Azores, and Medeira. She returned to duty in the Caribbean before arriving in Duluth in June of 1921, replacing the USS Essex. From 1940 to 1945 the Paduch was a common site on Chesapeake Bay, where she trained Naval Armed Guard Gunners. The gunners were sailors and officers who served on armed merchant vessels because the navy itself did not have enough ships to protect the merchant fleet. After the war the Paducah was sold to an individual in Florida, who then sold her to the Israeli group Haganah and renamed her Geula or “Redemption.” She was eventually turned into a merchant ship before being sold for scrap in 1951. Read the Veteran Memorial Hall’s entry on the Paducah here, and the personal story of Paducah sailor Steve Blach here.
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Duluth’s Leif Erickson replica Viking ship was built in Norway in 1926 for Captain Gerhard Folgero. According to historian Pat Labadie—whose father and grandfather built the boat—the Leif Erikson was a 42-foot wooden “femboring” craft “patterned after the traditional Norwegian working craft that served coastal shippers and fisherfolk for centuries [and was] used by medieval Norse adventurers and explorers.” So the Leif Erikson is not a precise replica of a Viking craft but a representation of the same class and style of boat likely used by Leif Erikson himself.
Captain Folgero and his crew outfitted their vessel with carved head and tail pieces and wooden shields bearing Viking devices and sailed the dressed-up fishing boat from Bergen, Norway, to the coast of Labrador and beyond, supposedly following much of Leif Erikson’s original 1002 route.
It wasn’t easy. They faced hurricane-like winds, icebergs, and weeks of fog. But they made it to Labrador and on to Boston, covering 6,700 miles in 50 days. From Boston they sailed on to Duluth to take part in a national convention of Norwegian emigrants. By the time they arrived here they had covered roughly 10,000 miles. That they accomplished this in a 42-foot boat outfitted with only oars and a square sail is nothing short of remarkable.
That’s when congressman William Carss suggested Duluthians raise funds to purchase the ship and move it to Lakeshore Park, then rename the park in the boat’s honor. But it was Bert Enger and Emil Olson, West End furniture dealers and Norwegian immigrants, who purchased the boat and gave it to Duluth for all to enjoy, and indeed Lakeshore Park was rechristened Leif Erikson Park. The boat was once considered Duluth’s second-largest tourist attraction, just behind the Aerial Lift Bridge.
In 1984 Neill Atkins and Will Borg, Emil Olson’s grandson, established Save Our Ship (S.O.S.) to renovate, preserve, and protect the vessel. They have struggled to raise fund to properly protect the boat, displaying a mixed record of stewardship. S.O.S.’s ironic initial idea was to not save the boat at all but to scrap it (the News-Tribune suggested she be burned in Lake Superior, like a Viking funeral). S.O.S. would then build a longboat-style warship to replace it, even though the boat was modeled after Viking merchant vessels built before the Norsemen became marauders.
Due to budget concerns, the replacement plan itself was scrapped and a renovation plan put into place. It took years to raise the funds, but a major overhaul was accomplished in 1996. The boat was then freed from a chicken-wire enclosure that had protected it for years and then moored in a more elegant berth within the park. Fear of vandals, however, has left it covered in shrink wrap waiting for a proper home.
S.O.S. has struggled since to raise money for an appropriate shelter. The will has always been there, but the funds have not always materialized. In the late 1990s Save Our Ship considered moving it to the Great Lakes Aquarium. The idea couldn’t have sat well with Borg, as he was once quoted as saying, “Leif Erikson Park without a ship is like Canal park without a lift bridge.”
In 2012 another group of developers proposed moving the boat to a retail development to be constructed at the “Lafarge” site, just west of Bayfront Park. That project has not materialized.
From Zenith City Press’s forthcoming “Pearls on a String: History of Duluth’s Parks.”
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