Day 30: A historic journey through lost Duluth

Each day leading up to the April 13 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2013 Minnesota finalist:

Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood by Tony Dierckins and Maryanne C. Norton
Published by Zenith City Press/X-Communication
Category Sponsor: Meyer, Sherer & Rockcastle (MS&R)

Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood by Tony Dierckins and Maryanne C. Norton

Through over 400 photographs and sketches of vanished homes, buildings, landmarks, industries, and residential neighborhoods, Lost Duluth takes readers on a journey through the city’s past, introducing them to the people—from hard-scrabble pioneers to wealthy industrialists—whose ambitions and dreams built the Zenith City on a swamp and a rocky hillside at the head of the Great Lakes.

Excerpt from Lost Duluth:

Authorization to build Duluth’s first streetcar line—which by grant had to consist of at least one mile of track with rides on cars of “the best quality” costing no more than a ten-cent toll—was granted on October 1870, but no one rode on a Duluth streetcar until 1883. The Duluth Street Railway Company incorporated in 1881 and work began on tracks along Superior Street from Eighth Avenue West to Third Avenue East in September 1882. Small trolley cars or “dinkies” pulled by mules began service on July 6, 1883. The ride cost a nickel. The mules sometimes pulled the cars off the tracks; passengers had to help lift the cars back on track before the trolley could proceed.

Tony Dierckins photoWriter, publisher, and book designer Tony Dierckins has authored or co-authored over a dozen books, including a previous Minnesota Book Awards finalist, Crossing the Canal: An Illustrated Maryanne NortonHistory of Duluth’s Aerial Bridge. A native of St. Paul, he has lived in Duluth since 1984.

Historian and Minneapolis native Maryanne C. Norton has made her home in Duluth since 1987 where she has worked as assistant director of the St. Louis County Historical Society. She is co-author of several books, including Images of America: Duluth, Minnesota.


Listen as author Tony Dierckins talks with MPR’s Cathy Wurzer.


Watch the full documentary, “Lost Duluth,” based on the book. (WDSE•WRPT)



“Duluth has always been a city like none other in the Midwest, with an architectural history as distinctive as its steep hills, rushing creeks and lakeside vistas. Lost Duluth offers a beautifully illustrated look at some of the city’s most prominent vanished buildings, from grand Victorian mansions and row houses to monumental works of public and commercial architecture. This book will make you pine for the city of old while opening your eyes to unimagined wonders, and even life-long residents will be surprised to find how much has been lost on the destructive road to progress.” — Larry Millett, author of Lost Twin Cities and Once There Were Castles: Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities

“If Lost Twin Cities made you weep, Lost Duluth will make you bawl like a baby.” — Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Award winners will be announced at the 25th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Hilton Minneapolis. An author meet-and-greet and book signing reception precedes the awards ceremony, and the Epilogue after-party, sponsored by Tech Logic, includes complimentary champagne, desserts, and live music. Tickets on sale now. Click here for more information.

Have you read Lost Duluth? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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