The Lark Ascending

The Lark of Duluth
The Lark, a “flying boat” that first took off in Duluth, MN.

I wanted to share some photos I took this weekend at the “Lark O’ the Lake” Festival, which was held in Duluth. The Lark is a replica of a seaplane that was first flown in Duluth 100 years ago. It was called a flying boat back then. During the winter the original Lark was transported to Florida where it served as the world’s first airliner – transporting passengers between St. Petersburg and Tampa.

The Color Guard at sunset, Sky Harbor Airport, Duluth, MN
The Color Guard at sunset, Sky Harbor Airport, Duluth, MN

Several of my friends were involved in rebuilding the Lark, a labor of love and ingenuity. The builders worked from photos, written descriptions and studying other similar seaplanes. Last weekend’s festival was held to remind Duluthians of their place in aviation history and to show off the flying boat. I attended the opening ceremony of the three-day event, which was complete with skydivers (including the intrepid Mayor of Duluth), spectators in vintage clothing, a band, and carriage rides. The skydivers in my pictures all landed safely, however, later in the weekend, a couple of them ended up landing in Lake Superior. Only in Duluth!

Michael Gardonio, Thomas Betts

Mr. Gardonio and Mr. Betts were among the builders of the Lark.


Duluth Mayor Don Ness in a tandem sky dive for the opening ceremonies of the Lark O'the Lake Festival.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness in a tandem sky dive for the opening ceremonies of the Lark O’the Lake Festival.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness skydive

Duluth Mayor Don Ness, glad to be alive after his skydive. His family is behind him.

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One thought on “The Lark Ascending

  1. Sierra was working on the Irving yesterday when the Lark went for a swim. She said that they didn’t know what happened but all of a sudden a band of emergency vehicles were lined up at the lift bridge, which of course was up letting a laker through. Life in Duluth! Eh? Glad you got some photos of the plane during its mayfly-like existence.

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