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Goldfine family | Archives and Special Collections, Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth

Name: Goldfine family
Variant Name: Manley Goldfine, Erwin Goldfine

Historical Note:

The Goldfine family has played an active role in Duluth business and community affairs for decades. Their family business began in 1922 when Abe (1897-1950) and Fannie Overman Goldfine (1905-1973) opened a cattle trading business. Abe was one of nine children born to Rose Kaner Goldfine (1870-1932) and Alexander Sander Goldfine (1873-1931) who came to Duluth from St. Cloud in 1901.

Their business gradually expanded. The original name was Goldfine’s Sales Stables followed by Goldfine’s Trading Post.  The family branched out and operated several stores in and around Duluth specializing in furniture, carpet and large sporting goods. In 1961, they consolidated into one large operation. The Trading Post on Garfield Avenue was razed and the discount department store to be known as Goldfine’s By The Bridge was opened at the same location and employed about 200 people. In 1966, the store added the pilot house from the former Great Lakes freighter Charles S. Hebard, offering an unobstructed view of the area.

In 1970 Goldfine’s merged into a national operation with Unishops, Inc. of New Jersey. Goldfine’s opened a store in 1976 in Sioux City, Iowa, the first outside of Minnesota.  In 1978 it was announces that all five Goldfine stores would be closed.

The family philosophy – what’s good for Duluth is good for Goldfine’s, and by contributing to the welfare of the total community, you contribute to your own welfare – resulted in brothers Erwin "Erv" (1923-2002) and Manley "Monnie" (1928-2009) Goldfine remaining active in community affairs. Erwin Goldfine was a Governor appointee to be President of the Minnesota Higher Education Commission. Erv also served as Financial Chairman of the Northeast Minnesota Council for Medical Education which secured funds for the University of Minnesota Duluth Medical School, and as a University of Minnesota Regent. Manley Goldfine has served as President of the Arena Auditorium (DECC) Administrative Board and as Chairman of the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area Authority. He was named to the Duluth Hall of Fame in 1968. The brothers were named by UMD as Businessmen of The Year in 1971. Erwin Goldfine was married to Beverly Betten Goldfine; Manley Goldfine was married to Lillian Falk Goldfine.

See Digital Content for more information.

Note Author: Staff

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