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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
I am a descentant of this great Uncle William Zinsmaster. I wish I had known more about him and his family tree.
HI Peper1048... I don't have a lot of information to share about the Zinsmaster history for you... but perhaps you might check the ZenithCityOnline blog and ask the questions you have. Tony Dierckins, publisher of this blog, has a lot of local history knowledge.
I have more information on the Post Zinsmaster Bakeries after being sold to Metz Baking Company. They (METZ) retained the MASTER brand label in the Twin Cities metro area as they could not use their flagship banner, OLD HOME. Because there was a dairy company in St. Paul, that owned the license to use that brand, even though they were dairy company and not a similar baking brand or operation, weird?
I remember as a kid going on a school field trip here and learning how bread was made. I don't remember the process but I remember the box of Mini Donuts and the paper hat each of us got to take home. Could have been Tastee Bakery but I thing it was Zinsmaster Bakery. Thanks for the memory! scott
Harry William Zinsmaster was my great grandfather. I know a lot of family information, and enjoy collecting memorabilia from the bakery. However, the best information would come from my father; John Wade (Son of Harry W. Zinsmaster's daughter; Jane Zinsmaster-Wade). I have forwarded this article to him.
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