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Iron Range Posts

Paul Seeba – “Mitchell Yards”

Paul Seeba - Mitchell YardsIn this video from WDSE-TV‘s The Playlist, Hibbing native Paul Seeba returns to the Iron Range and the historic Mitchell Yards to share music inspired by the 1906 roundhouse. His 2014 album, Mitchell Yards, celebrates the now-endangered place and the role it played in handling ore during World War II.

Bonus sidebar: Dan Turner’s inside look at Mitchell Yards from his Substreet blog.

Mitchell-Yard-Crane

R.I.P. Francine York

francine-yorkAurora, the Iron Range city about an hour north of Duluth, was home to Francine York. “From the 60s and into the 70s, she was a guest-star on dozens of series, with some of her most remembered roles from Batman, Lost In Space, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Streets of San Francisco.”

Bleeding Cool has the obituary for this Northland celebrity.

History of Itasca: Part 1

itascaLilah Crowe, executive director at Itasca County Historical Society, talks about the rich native history of Itasca County in the first of a four-part presentation.

This short-form documentary was produced by A Plus B Productions as part of the Itasca Conversations series.

Fairyland Park near Marble, Minnesota

fairyland-park

This undated postcard depicts “Alice in Wonderland,” one of more than 30 scenes from favorite fairytales at Fairyland, a roadside attraction that operated from 1948 to 1972 just west of the village of Marble, about 80 miles northwest of Duluth. Pretty much anything one might want to know about Fairyland can be found on a PDF compiled by Tim Wick, son of Melvin and Faith Wick, who bought the park in 1960.

Itasca Conversations: Tall Timber Days Festival

Dr. Lee Jess cuts a promo for Tall Timber Days, the 35-year-old festival he helped start in Grand Rapids. Video produced by A Plus B Productions.

The Story of Iron and Steel

Loading iron ore into steamer at a Duluth ore dock 1919 sepia photogravure

Video Archive: President Coolidge visits Hibbing in 1928

This film footage from 1928 shows U.S. President Calvin Coolidge arriving in Hibbing on the Duluth, Missabe, and Northern Railroad to view mining operations and see the highly acclaimed Hibbing High School. Modern-day aerial footage of the school concludes the video.

Actual Wolf – “Christmas in Chisholm”

Iron Range restaurant reviewed in New York Times

Seared salmonMr. Roberts Restaurant and Resort in Pengilly will be featured in this Sunday’s edition of the New York Times. Duluth-based writer Robert Lillegard reviews the “surprising new flavors” chef Sarah Master has brought to the lakeside eatery. The article was published online today:

In Minnesota’s Iron Range, Midwestern with a modern twist

Master is a Pengilly native who left her position as executive chef at Minneapolis’ Café Barbette to form a business partnership with Dan Beckwith, opening their restaurant and resort in early June.

Gems of Itasca: The Bovey Edition

Bovey is an historical jewel on the Iron Range, known for its rich mining history in the early 1900s. It’s also the home of the world-famous 1918 photograph Grace.

Iron Ore Bar in Tower, Minnesota

I heard it referred to by one of the locals as “Beirut.” It’s actually quite the normal-looking bar on the inside.

“On a Mission from God”

The effects of the state budget deficit will be felt by many, but one example I’ve been talking about is the potential loss of Hibbing Community College Theater. (Disclosure: I work for HCC as a communication instructor).

HCC has developed a top notch two-year theater program and community theater series. For years it has demonstrated to the blue collar Iron Range the importance and possibility represented by the fine arts. Unfortunately, the program is now on the chopping block. But the community isn’t taking this lying down. A deal was struck that if some money could be raised externally the program could continue in some form.

For one night only, a big show will be held that could save a precious community treasure from budget cuts. Yes, that is exactly like the plot of the 1980 musical “The Blues Brothers.” Which is why the cast of HCC’s 2004 production of the Blues Brothers is reuniting for the show. The HCC Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers band is top notch, as good or better than any of the other revivals you might see touring the country and is predominantly stocked with Minnesotans.

We need to fill this massive, historic hall to save theater at HCC. Consider a road trip to Hibbing to send a message in support of the arts.

HCC Theater Support Gala
7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 2
Hibbing High School Auditorium
(easily the most impressive high school auditorium in the country, and Dylan played there before he was Dylan)

First, enjoy the hilarious promotional video featuring Elwood Blues (Hibbing’s Jaime Tintor, an actor in L.A.). This is well worth the click.

HCC Theater Support Gala featuring the Blues Brothers: July 2 in Hibbing

Send this out. Tell your friends. Tweet and Retweet. Blog and Share. Every town has something to fight for in this unfortunately political battle, but this one is awfully important to the towns of the Iron Range, knocked down by the economy and in need of the healing power of the arts. Tell the people: “We’re getting the band back together.”

Follow some hilarious updates all next week at my blog MinnesotaBrown.com

Dylan Days in Hibbing coming May 21-24

Here is our fresh new Dylan Days press release, cross posted at my blog, going out today:

Dylan Days boasts full new schedule for 2009
Lineup features music, art and literature in music icon’s hometown

HIBBING, Minn. (April 20, 2009) – As Bob Dylan prepares to release another new album, his hometown of Hibbing, Minn., is preparing to honor him with its annual celebration of music, literature, visual art and Dylan history. Dylan Days 2009 takes place May 21-24.

A Gen Y life in a Greatest Generation place

Hi folks. My name is Aaron Brown and this is my first post here. I run a blog up on the Iron Range called MinnesotaBrown.com and wrote a book called “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range” that came out recently.

This Friday, April 17, my “Don Quioxe de l’Iron Range” tour returns to the Twin Ports. I’ll be giving a lecture and reading from the book during a special appearance at the Manion Theater in the Holden Fine Arts Building on the campus of my alma mater University of Wisconsin at Superior.

I like Superior. It reminds me of the Iron Range and enjoys some of the same reputation for some of the same reasons. It’s a blue collar place that grew quickly about 100 years ago with a huge influx of immigrant workers. Now the critics call it dirty and downtrodden, but I think there’s a charm in its gritty ways. Like many Range towns, they combat their foes with a dazzling logo. I write often about the same ideas in regard to the Iron Range. In any event, UWS is a fantastic small liberal arts public university and I’m proud to return as an author instead of as an out-of-work grad student.

I talk a lot about the challenges facing Gen Y professionals in rusty places like the Iron Range. As a fifth generation Ranger I’ve learned to love the place and its potential, but bang my head on many walls along the way.

The lecture begins at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing and what the university is calling “light refreshments.”

Read more from UWS.

My blog explains more about the book and the travails of modern life on the Iron Range. It’s part humor, part politics … if there is, in fact, a difference.