By Megan Hayes Just over the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge lies a tiny community called Park Point. Park Point has been missing a part of what residents may see as the heart of the community. It’s known as the Bayside Market, and it’s been missing for about a year. View Larger Map
The Point is mostly made up of “Pointers,” or people who have lived there their whole lives, or pretty close to it. Having Bayside closed is still a hard change for the Pointers to grasp.
The Bayside Market was owned by Dick and Melinda Gajewski and remained open for 37 years, according to the article, “The Last Days of Bayside?” which was written by Alan Dartanyan, the editor of The Breeze of Park Point.
The Gajewski’s were tied to the market 24/7. They even lived in an apartment above the market. They now have retired to Florida.
Even though the market has been closed for some time, it has been a staple to many in the community. One such person is Linda Fellman. She works as one of the activities directors at Franciscan Health Center.
Pointers always went there, said Fellman. If you forgot milk or bread, you could just run down to Bayside.
“I hate to see it sitting there idle,” Fellman said.
Fellman has lived on the Point for many years, and her parents are still there. Fellman said that her parents also miss it because they would stop all the time. It’s where they shopped.
Now people have to make their way over the bridge in order to get groceries or gas.
Bayside was a place where everyone went. It was a place with a small town convenience store feel where everyone knew your name.
When referring to the closing of the market, Dartanyan said in his article that “there won’t be much sweetness for Park Pointers who have always relied on Bayside for that forgotten grocery store item, those wonderful sausages, gas for the snowblower, the Sunday paper, and the latest news (we don’t call it gossip) about what’s going on on Park Point.”
“Whether you were going to Bayside for groceries or getting school supplies for your kids, your needs were met,” said Lynne Ziemski, an owner of the store Country By The Lake. “They had a little bit of everything there.”
Park Point is more familiar to non-pointers as a tourist spot in the summer, and many don’t even venture over the bridge during the winter unless they live, work or ice fish on the Point.
“The Bayside Market was very convenient for the people living here, because they didn’t have to leave the Point if the bridge ever needed to be closed due to weather, especially with as harsh as the winters can be,” Fellman said.
The faces of those who have lived on the Point light up whenever the words "Bayside Market" are brought up. You can tell that there are many memories stirring around in their head.
According to Doug Sutherland, the realtor, Bayside is selling for $695,000. There has been plenty of interest in it, but not any offers that were set in stone, he said.
“Verbal offers are nice, but they are never a for sure thing,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland said every time someone sees him they ask about it. They miss it. They miss buying ice, getting gas and the store itself.
“Bayside was the center of our community,” Dartanyan said in his article. “You gave directions to your house based on where you were from the store. It’s where you posted the signs for local fundraisers and community events. It’s where many teenagers held their first jobs.”
It says a lot about a community when they value the simple things in life, such as a neighborhood convenience store. Park Point does just that. Bayside represented the Park Point community in a very positive way.
It still remains, but it sits vacant.
Do you remember the Bayside Market? Check out this article on others who remember Park Point's iconic Bayside Market.