Quirky Americana: Greyhound Bus Origin Museum
American intracity bus travel was born on The Range
City-to-city bus travel may have peaked in the US in the 1940s, but the history of America’s best-know bus line, Greyhound, is well-preserved and lives on at its birthplace in Hibbing, Minnesota.
Yep.It was pre-WWI on Minnesota’s Iron Range, and small communities had sprung up across the region based mostly on proximity to iron ore mines. You can read a full history here, but in short, a Hibbing entrepreneur decided to turn a seven-passenger car, the Hupmobile, into a fare-based transit service. Since most folks lived to close to work (the mines), they had no need for a car. Until they had need for a car. “Bus Andy” Anderson and Charles Wenberg changed all that, and the forerunner to Greyhound Bus lines was off and rolling.
And the museum?
Okay, this is also a good story. Apparently the history of the Hibbing Transportation Company (later sold to you-know-who), was forgotten until the 1960s when a city councilor, Geno Nicolleli, came across a plaque in the City Hall attic (wish we could go up there!) from Greyhound to the City, thanking them and acknowledging Hibbing as the company’s birthplace.
Years later, Nicolleli amassed a collection of vintage Greyhound Buses, ephemera, collectibles and truly, all things Greyhound, and had a museum built to house them.
How do I see this cool stuff?
And it really is cool. Old advertising posters, ashtrays, uniforms, pens, pins, dolls (that’s right, Greyhound bus driver dolls) and more. Climb aboard five or so vintage buses and see how the industry changed over the years. Admission is $3-$7.50, and the museum is conveniently located next to the Mesabi Trail, the lovely Bennett Park (playground, picnic areas, nearby dog park) and Hull Rust Mine View. The Greyhound Bus Origin Museum is open May-September.
Group tour rates are available. Call 218-749-8161 for more information.