Spotlight on our Cities: Eveleth

Hockey Greats statue in Hockey Plaza.

If you don’t think ‘hockeytown’ when you think of Eveleth, maybe it’s time you visited! Over the summer, a second statue of a hockey great was installed at Hockey Plaza on Grant Ave A likeness of “Mr. Zero,” Frank Brimsek, joined the John Mariucci statue at the base of the largest free standing hockey stick and puck in America, surrounded by displays of hockey history, lore and legend. All this, across from a mural depicting kids playing pond hockey. You should go!

Make a stop at the US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum while you’re there (open Fri-Sun between Memorial Day and Labor Day), and learn everything you ever wanted to know about the sport. Both historically and particularly in recent years under the city staff and elected officials’ leadership, Eveleth has invested time and money into owning the hockeytown title, and they deserve it.

But there are a few other things happening in Eveleth that you might not know about, and some you probably do know about, like the famous Thunder Over Eveleth Fourth of July celebration, long championed by local businesses. Just weeks ago, a second mural was unveiled to celebrate “A Proud Past, A Brighter Future,” with local businessman and Eveleth Area Community Foundation chair Jonathon Hoel leading its dedication.

One of two murals along Eveleth’s Grant Street.

The Eveleth Elks hosts an annual car show and corn feed that packs the town. Are you sensing a theme? In small towns, small businesses and their owners have a huge role in the communities’ aesthetics, pride, passion and success. With their own longtime owners stepping up when asked with unfailing generosity, the Eveleth IGA, Jon’s Drug and Margie’s Roosevelt Bar are pure Eveleth. This tightknit and tireless group can take credit for a lot of the great things happening in Eveleth, but not when it comes to a different type of “artwork” that’s been popping up  around town.

Eveleth Police Chief Tim Koivunen helped lead an effort to make the town ATV-friendly, including a stellar sign project that shows ATVs how to navigate the city, and promotes businesses and points of interest at the same time. Hopefully other cities will follow suit!

If the ATV signage shows a town with an eye toward the future, there is respect for the past that is deeper and broader than hockey heritage. If you’ve not been to the restored Eveleth Auditorium, hopefully you’ll have a chance to see it sometime. With full-on city support, the circa 1912 building underwent a transformation, starting in 2012, and is now a wonderful community gathering place.

Attendees of the 2019 Spirit of Hospitality Awards enjoy the Eveleth Auditorium space.

The Eveleth Heritage Society is most certainly a driving force in curating and celebrating Eveleth history, with leaders there helping provide a wonderful website and online resource, as well as a Facebook presence where posts generate dozens if not hundreds of engagements and draw attention to the city’s history and legacy.

Leonidas Overlook in Eveleth is slated for a makeover in the coming years.

So what’s in store for Eveleth’s future? A beautification landscaping project near and around the Hwy 53/37 East intersection will be the perfect entryway for the fabulously renovated restaurants The Rink Boomtown Woodfire Brewery, as well as the expanded/remodeled Five Seasons Sports and Lundgren Motors. Future enhancements at the Leonidas Overlook will help share even more local and regional history and educate visitors about mining today.

Learn more about Eveleth and all the towns of the Mesabi, plus events and trails, and make plans to explore the area soon.



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