With just over 16,000 residents, Hibbing, “The Iron Ore Capital of the World,” is by far the largest Iron Range  city. Frank Hibbing founded his town in 1893 on the spot where he discovered iron ore, but with money and people pouring into nearby Virginia , Hibbing got off to a very slow start. The roads were poor, drinking water was scarce, and a nationwide financial panic put most people out of work.
A couple years later, however, several mines were operating around the village and its existence was secure, but the location was not. By 1915 Hibbing was home to 20,000 people and had a thriving downtown, but the mines were eating their way toward the city from several directions.
The Oliver Mining Company decided the town had to be moved. Beginning in 1919 most of the city was transferred two miles south to the present site. As a payoff, the company developed the new downtown; provided low interest loans to families; and built many civic buildings, including a hospital, Village Hall, and high school.
Many famous people have called Hibbing home, including Roger Maris, Kevin McHale, and Vincent Bugliosi, but by far the city’s most famous former resident is Robert Allen Zimmerman, known to the rest of the world as Bob Dylan.
Bob was born in Duluth  in 1941 and his upper-middle-class family moved to Hibbing to run an appliance store when Bob was five years old. After graduating from Hibbing High School in 1959, he moved to Minneapolis  and briefly attended the University of Minnesota before ending up in New York City, where he melded folk and rock music, reinventing both in the process.
Dylan rarely discusses his Minnesota past, and except for his 10-year high school reunion and the occasional funeral, he has rarely returned—one local theory attributes this to being ashamed of the many lies he told about his boyhood when he first gained fame. Though the city has done little to promote its Dylan history, a slow trickle of fans still makes a pilgrimage here.
Plans for a Bob Dylan museum have been proposed several times before, and it is certain to happen someday. Ironically, his biggest fans are surely hoping that they can’t visit it for a long time since Bob has specifically requested that it wait until after his death.
The Paulucci Space Theatre (1502 E. 23rd St., 218/262-6720, $4) at Hibbing Community College presents large-format films and planetarium shows on a 40-foot-diameter domed screen, plus free planetarium presentations on Wednesday nights. Zimmy’s (531 E. Howard St., 218/262-6145, www.zimmys.com ) often has singer-songwriters performing on weekends.
Dylan Days (www.dylandays.com ) is held the week of May 24th (Bob’s birthday) and features Dylan trivia, karaoke, and art works; a poetry contest; and a tour of Dylan haunts.
The city’s biggest bash is the Mines and Pines Jubilee (www.hibbing.org/minespines ), held for nine days over the middle of July. Events include a parade, fireworks, arts and crafts fair, and ice cream social.
Carey Lake Park (25th St., 218/263-8851), four miles east of town, has 10 miles of trails looping around and along the undeveloped lake. They are open for hiking and biking in the summer, but are used primarily by cross-country skiers. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available on winter weekends. The park also has a beach, fishing pier, and some nice picnic spots.
The Chisholm–Hibbing Airport (11038 Hwy. 37, 218/262-3451) is served by Delta/Northwest (800/225-2525) a couple of times a day. For a cab, call Hibbing Shalloe’s Taxi (218/263-5065).