A long time ago, there was a sweet red lighthouse keeper's cottage at the end of Duluth's Park Point. It had a green roof, and windows with white shutters, if the colorized old postcard can be believed, and it looked like a great wild place to live.
There were log cabins on Park Point then, too, and, a trolley car to take you to them.
Downtown Duluth had grand old theaters (one called the Grand), with balconies and stained-glass windows and fabulous lobbies with ornate ceilings and chandeliers. The Grand was torn down in 1976, and now Duluthians walk past the soulless Holiday Mall and Parking Ramp. Ah, progress.
"Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings and Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood," by Tony Dierckins and Maryanne Norton, is a softcover compendium of Duluth's past. Not every building, of course, and not every house, but a good selection that went up or down between 1856 and 1939. (The reasons for those years are made clear in the introduction.)
Dierckins is a long-time writer and publisher in Duluth; his publishing house, recently renamed Zenith City to reflect its commitment to local history, has already put out books about the Aerial Bridge, and collections of columns by beloved newspaper man Jim Heffernan, and other extremely Duluth-centric books.
Like his other books, "Lost Duluth" is packed with photos and information. (Perhaps a wee bit too packed; my eye craved wider margins, and my hand craved a sturdier cover. But those are minor quibbles.) His co-author on this project, Maryanne Norton, is a longtime Duluth historian and librarian and the author of other books of Duluth history.
"Lost Duluth" will be launched at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Norway Hall in Duluth.
Dierckins will also sign books at 11 a.m. May 12 at the Barnes & Noble at HarMar Mall in Roseville.