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Lunch with the History People

When: Thursday, October 18, 2018, from noon – 1 PM

Who: Barbara W. Sommer has worked as a contractor for the St. Louis County Historical Society on several projects over the years. Her work as an oral historian is extensive. She has written several works including The Oral History Manual (3rd edition), The American Indian Oral History Manual: Making Many Voices Heard, the Community Oral History Toolkit, Practicing Oral History in Historical Organizations, and Doing Veterans Oral History. In 2009, Barbara presented for our program on her book entitled Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota, which won a Minnesota Book Award.

What: The 100th anniversary of the 1918 fires is October 12. In remembrance, numerous presentations are being held throughout the area. Barb’s presentation on “The Fires of 1918 in Duluth” examines the impact that the fires had on Duluth and St. Louis County. The regional fire relief center was located at the Duluth National Guard Armory. Many know that the fires devastated Cloquet and Moose Lake, but according to Barb, “they also burned across the country into rural St. Louis County and past Nopeming into Duluth and down to the waterfront. The Northland Country Club and the Duluth ore docks burned, but fire fighters saved the St. James Orphanage and Nopeming Sanitorium.”

Where: The event will be held in the Ruth Maney Room on the first floor of the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot), at 506 West Michigan Street, Duluth, Minnesota.

There will be limited theater-style seating (no tables), but feel free to bring your own bag lunch. Seating is first-come, first-served (no reservations). Admittance to this event is free to the public. ARCO coffee is provided.

For more information contact Julie Bolos at 218-733-7568 or

During any presentation, the views and findings expressed are solely that of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the St. Louis County Historical Society, its board or staff.

Photos: Speaker Barbara Sommer, photo provided by Barbara Sommer; UMD, Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections, Headquarters Forest Fire Relief Duluth Armory_1918 ; Ruins of Duluth and Northeastern Railroad Yard and Roundhouse, Cloquet, Minnesota Reflections:

To learn more about upcoming 1918 fires events and 1918 exhibits, click on 1918.