The Hibbing Historical Society was awarded $5,400 in February 2012, after applying to the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Legacy Grant fund.  This is the second part of a larger project begun in 2010 by the Society and curator Erica Larson to digitize approximately 1,000 negatives donated to the Society by the Oliver Iron Mining Company in 1978.  This part of the project will focus on 496 negatives, which document land parcels known as the "North Hibbing Purchases."  The Oliver Mining Company invested a considerable sum to assist in the relocation of the town, by funding new buildings in south Hibbing and purchasing residents' land in North Hibbing.   These land gains were split in 18 groups over 8 years, and contained 475 businesses and homes.  Taken between 1937 and 1943, these images depict houses and businesses, lot by lot, and street by street, seemingly abandoned.  The 12 streets that are documented, including the North Hibbing business district along 3rd Avenue and Pine Street, have been swallowed up by the Hull-Rust-Mahoning pit.  Each negative is labeled with the name of the owner, the exact street address, and the date the photograph was taken.  These images are invaluable as to the information they contain, as they make it possible to virtually reconstruct North Hibbing as it existed 80 years ago.

    The negatives are being digitized using the equipment purchased during the grant awarded to the Society in 2010 (Digitization and Public Access, Part I). The images are available at www.hibbinghistory.com/oimc. Images can be browsed, or if you're looking for something specific, searched by street number or occupant's name.

    Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in November 2008. The grants are awarded to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.


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