MESABA TRANSPORTATION STATION

This undated photo of 1927 4th Avenue East was probably taken when the building was quite new. The plaques on either side of the doorway say “1920”. Mesaba Transportation was the forerunner of the Greyhound Corporation and here is their “Waiting Station”, a quite lyrical name for the new depot. The vertical sign announces that “Busses leave here for Stevenson, Keewatin, Nashwauk, Pengilly, Calumet, Marble, Taconite, Bovey, Coleraine, Grand Rapids”.

“Us, On a Greyhound Bus” is the wonderful title to a song native Hibbingite Don Peterson wrote for the 1968 re-staging of his musical about Hibbing and the Iron Range, Growin’ Pains. That 1968 production was one element of Hibbing’s Diamond Jubilee 75th Birthday Celebration. I was young, but I was thrilled by that play and honored to be a part of it when it was re-staged once again in 1976. The Greyhound bus song was one of my favorite aspects of the show. The full lyrics to the song are found elsewhere on this page.

Greyhound buses, of course, were a part of Hibbing’s history from its early years. Buses with the image of that of a sleek dog dashing along were regularly seen on our streets. Now, aside from at the Greyhound Bus Museum, or the wonderful “parade of buses” that came through town for a special event last August, we don’t see those greyhounds here anymore.

But the importance of the Greyhound Bus to our town, state and country should never be forgotten. In so many families, including my own, it was a means of getting between Iron Range towns for work, or to the Cities for a special weekend shopping trip, or to basic training camp for a young man heading off to war and hoping to come back home again on that bus.

The following article announces the important news that the Greyhound Depot has been remodeled. This article appeared in the Hibbing Daily Tribune on March 16, 1949.

The depot was located at 1927 4th Avenue East. This building, built as part of the new Hibbing in the 1920s, is located a block north of Howard Street. The upper floor of the building over the years housed the Town of Stuntz offices and the Western Knapp Engineering firm with 35 or more employees. At street level, in the south half of the building, were a succession of car dealerships: a Packard dealership, Iron Range Chevrolet, Hagen Chevrolet, and finally, from 1949 until 1968, Hilligoss Chevrolet.

Through all of those year, the north half of the building was the bus depot. When the depot moved in 1968 up the block into the old train depot, National Tea Supermarket moved into the building. The building most recently housed MDC before their recent move.

I am very grateful to Don Hilligoss, Sr. for sharing information about the building with me. He also can recall that when the busses started up (you’ll note in the article that they could be loaded inside), the air would turn blue in the south half of the building where the car dealership was located!

~ Mary Palcich Keyes

Completion of the $50,000 remodeling operations, which have made the local Greyhound station the finest bus terminal on the Range, has been announced by Andrew G. Anderson, Hibbing superintendent for the company.

Under the new arrangement, busses can be loaded from the north side of the building, or, when the weather is bad, inside the building to the rear of the station waiting room.

The new station has a large, comfortable ladies’ rest room, a bus drivers’ room, a manager’s office, waiting room, ticket office, baggage room, and men’s rest room.

The large windows are the new thermopane insulated type which use a double glass to keep out the cold of winter and the heat of summer. The floor is of non-slip tiling and the walls are decorated in cheerful colors.

The building in which the station is situated has been the home of the Greyhound station as long as it has been in South Hibbing. Superintendent Anderson has been in charge of local operations for the company since it was first organized in 1920.

He has been associated with the bus industry since 1914 when the Mesaba Transportation Company, the forerunner of the Greyhound organization, was started in 1914.

Because Hibbing is known throughout the country as the home of the bus industry, the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce plans to have formal dedication ceremonies in August for the new bus terminal. At that time an effort will be made to bring the officials of the company and bus industry pioneers to Hibbing for a reunion.

Remodeling work was done in sections in order not to interfere with the normal operations of the station. The station now ranks with the most modern in the country.

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“Us, On a Greyhound Bus”

Words and Music by Don Peterson

Us, on a Greyhound Bus-

Sort a’ faint of heart

Waitin’ as we start out

To travel on pavement or gravel.

We’ll smile

Steppin’ down that bus aisle

With a ticket clenched in a happy fist

Lookin’ for things we’ve always missed.

Checkin’ out all the new places with all the new faces

That’s in this entire land.

Who in the world ever planned

Us, on a Greyhound Bus!

Every rubber wheel

Makes a person feel

Like she’s floating.

It’s kind of like boating.

We’ll glide

On a Greyhound Bus ride.

Nothin’ smoother.

First you see Chisholm; you’ll take in Buhl;

Next Mountain Iron; then comes Virginia:

North up to Ely; east to Two Harbors;

South-hope to tell the truth- she takes you to Duluth- or

West to Keewatin; next take in Nashwauk;

Move on to Coleraine; then comes Grand Rapids;

Next it’s Bemidji; west on to Fargo;

South-let me tell you please- she takes you to the Cities!

Through Minnesota, on to Dakota; or to Wisconsin; then Michigan and

Down to Chicago. Hey! Why not all go?

We got a travelin’ team

So come a-long and dream with us

On a Greyhound Bus!

Why not come with us and see the world

On a Greyhound Bus!

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Looking Back

The following items are taken from the Hibbing Daily Tribune or the Mesabi Ore, which are on microfilm at the Hibbing Public Library and/or Iron Range Resource Center at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.

1908

Sept. 1, 1908

Lots in the townsite of Kitzville have again been placed on the market and are going like hot cakes. Kitzville is in the center of all the big mines east of Hibbing. It is but one mile or less from the Laura, Webb, Morris, Columbia, Albany, Nassau, Burt, Glen, Clark, Pillsbury and Leonard. Kitzville is only a quarter of a mile from Mitchell where eight passenger trains stop each day. It thus enjoys a practical street car service to Hibbing. Kitzville is high and dry- pleasant, healthful, and convenient. Buy now while lots are cheap- they will soon advance in price. Lots for sale by E.C. Kleffman.

1910

July 16, 1910

The death of little Ernest, the four-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Axel Hendrickson of Hibbing, occurred yesterday at 11:45 at their home in this city. The child had been sick only eight days, but intestinal troubles developed into brain fever and the little sufferer passed away peacefully. The funeral services will be held tomorrow from the family residence, 426 Garfield Street and interment will be at the Hibbing cemetery.

1959

Nov. 28, 1959

Hibbing General Hospital handled only two hunting accidents during deer hunting season. Neither case was serious. One patient, a young man, had his jaw slightly grazed by a bullet with no serious results.

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