Old North Hibbing Panels Restored

By KBJR News 1

July 7, 2011 Updated Jul 7, 2011 at 6:19 PM CDT

HIBBING, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Hibbing is the largest city by area in the state of Minnesota.

In 1920, to make way for Iron Ore mining, the town and its people picked up and moved two miles south.

To keep memories of that first Hibbing alive information panels have been placed around Old North Hibbing.

The thirty–three information panels scattered around Old North Hibbing have weathered over time, making the signs hard to read.

"These were put in some place between '76 and '78," Dale Gaasland, director of Hibbing Parks and Recreation said. "They are faded out, and actually if you run your hand across them you actually pick up slivers of fiber glass."

Organizers have been working to raise $6,000 through community donations to restore the signs.

They hope to order new fiberglass panels in early August.

"We have electronic images now," Project Manager, Michael Marconett said. "We send it to a company in Pennsylvania, and they will embed those images into fiber glass. This won't be just a cover of images. This will be an actual embedded image."

Organizers plan to condense the information on the old signs and create a new 16 panel display.

"We get to the point that people can stop on there way through Mine View and get a better idea of what happened up here," Gaasland said.

For many who lived in Old Hibbing the panels give life to their memories.

"Having experienced it personally, and having it close to your heart, it's wonderful to be able to see rather than to describe the actual buildings and what they look like," Gerri Gardner, an Old Hibbing native said.

To preserve the new panel displays, organizers say they plan to put up two pavilions next summer.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch