Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Old Zinsmaster Bakery Building Burns....

For all you former Duluthians who still have your hearts in Duluth....
A huge fire that began at 2:45 am Monday burned all day and destroyed the current (for 6 months) Peerless autobody building located on 29th Avenue W. and Superior St.  The building was originally the Zinsmaster Bakery, bakers of Master Bread and Hol-Ry for many years. The building housed several businesses since. The latest report indicates a possible arson. This apparent senseless crime ravaged both extensive personal and property devastation to the Peerless owner and his customers. Check out the story in today's Duluth News Tribune HERE.

I was attempting to pin down some of the history of the Zinsmaster Bakery in Duluth but memory fails me with the important details. I think that the Zinsmaster Bakery began the Master Bread brand, with a Zinsmaster Bakery also located in Minneapolis.  Harry W. Zinsmaster was a prominent Duluthian who was the vice president and general manager of the local bakery. According to a Rotary 25 history of the first 100 presidents of Rotary 25, his brother, William, was the president of the company and lived in Minneapolis. I'm assuming he headed the Minneapolis Zinsmaster firm but not sure.  A link to the Rotary 25 history places Zinsmaster as the 7th president of the Rotary organization (circa 1911-12). Check it out HERE. At that time Harry Zinsmaster lived at 20th Avenue East in Duluth but later–according to my memory and an old phone book–moved to 2 Hawthorne Rd (the corner of Hawthorne Rd. and Superior Street). This home, under different ownership, was used as a setting for scenes in the 1988 Jessica Lange movie, Far North, located in Duluth.

If any of you readers our there have some Zinsmaster Bakery lore to share, please feel free to add your information or comments.

5 comments:

Jon said...

Back in the days when kids where allowed to walk more than one block without bus support, our Lincoln Elementary grade school class (forgot which one) walked down to the bread company in the West End (before it was renamed Lincoln Park) to learn how bread was made for a class trip. Still remember the smell of rising dough and yeast in the air. Later, before kids weren't allowed to do real stuff, we made bread in the school cafeteria and shook real cream (before fat was outlawed in schools) to make real butter, (before it was considered hazardous waste). Jon Leppala

Jim Heffernan said...

Jon: Funny comment -- and so true. I can't believe our generation made it to old age (well, you're a bit younger). Who'da thunk kids would have to wear helmets on bicycles? Tales of old Sixth Street: Jock Swanstrom was giving LeRoy Gorder a ride on his bike handlebars, crashed, and survived...until some time much later it was determined that LeRoy had a broken collar bone. No helmets, tho. Thanks for writing. -- Jim

Jon said...

Names from the past and the old 'hood, I didn't think anyone would remember or write about in a blog. Thanks for sharing memories! Jon

Firebottle3 said...

I had an uncle on my fathers side, Rudy Nelson that was some sort of executive there back in the 40's. He passed away in 1949.

Jim Heffernan said...

Firebottle3: Good to hear from you again. It's amazing how many people had a relative who worked there at some time or another. You uncle worked there when the business was in its hey day and he must have been a prominent figure there. Hey...we're heading down your way again this winter. Hope the oil spill has not damaged the economy there too much. Such a great area. Hope it warms up a bit though :-) Thanks for reading!
Jim