“The haphazard, scraggly and repellent settlement, a mixed combination of Indian trading post, seaport, railroad construction camp, and gambling resort, altogether wild, rough, uncouth, and frontier-like, bore not the remotest resemblance, physically or otherwise, to the city it is now.” — Late 1800s immigrant writing on Duluth at the time
By 1899 Duluth was “The Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas,” with the most millionaires of any city in the world for its size, lands bulging with untold resources, and a population fast approaching Chicago. It was a roaring town in the northern wilderness, money flowed and optimism reined supreme.
Oliver Traphagen was commissioned to build a new city hall and jail on Superior Street. Traphagen would design a Richardsonian Romanesque masterpiece and have it constructed from brown sandstone quarried from Fond du Lac and moved by barge down the St. Louis River.
That edifice, the one you're in now, was the hub of it all in 1899. If the walls that surround you could talk, they would tell the stories of commoners and tycoons during Duluth’s boom era: gentlemen coming to do their business, sobered-up roughnecks coming to pay their fines, and politicians coming to create local law—to build a Zenith City. We named this establishment Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery to celebrate that rich history. It is after all, an amazing story.