A piece of ‘The Cribs’ disappears in Duluth

Sometime between the first of the year and Valentine’s Day, part of the huge concrete icons in Lake Superior in Duluth disappeared, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum — known as “the Cribs” — featured a tall concrete column. It’s gone.

“It is the ruins of an energetic but short-lived commercial enterprise by (the) Whitney Brothers of Superior,” a marker on the lake walk says. “It was Harvey Whitney’s brainchild. … The structure was the foundation of a sand and gravel unloading dock.”

Tom Deschenes, who works at Canal Park Brewing Company, may have been the first to notice the column was missing. He said he had been contemplating setting up a slackline — similar to a tightrope — between the cylinder and the larger structure, sometimes called the icehouse.

On Valentine’s Day morning, as he biked to work, “I was thinking the timing was getting to be about right to set up the line,” Deschenes recalled. “When I looked to the icehouse, the cylinder piece was gone.”

As word of the fallen landmark made its way around social media in recent days, Duluth’s Jim Richardson — an avid freediver who shoots underwater videos and posts them online as Lake Superior Aquaman weighed in with his observations.

“It was only a matter of time,” Richardson reported on Facebook. “The column was composed of timbers sheathed in concrete but much of the concrete below water level was eroded away, leaving bare wood.”