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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Hibbing 2004

1st Finglish trip August 2004 #3

In 1892 Frank Hibbing found iron ore in St.Louis County in Minnesota. That was the beginning of the biggest open pit iron ore mine in the world and the town of Hibbing. The first Finns who came to Hibbing in 1893 were Victor Lauhala with John Beck and Matti Boriin. Or maybe it was Kalle Laine? Anyway that started the flow on Finns there.

But the main reason we went to Hibbing was of course Robert Zimmerman, later known as Bob Dylan. And his high school girlfriend Echo Star Helstrom. Echo (b.1942) is an American Finn, her all four grandparents came from Finland. Bob and Echo 'went steady' in 1957-1958. After they departed Bob became Dylan in New York City and Echo moved to Minneapolis.

It is said that Dylan's song 'Girl from the North Country' was inspired by Echo. They met once in 1969 at the high school reunion. Story goes that Echo went to ask for an autograph, Bob recognised her and wrote 'To Echo,Yours Truly, Bob Dylan.'

A dylanie in front of Zimmerman's house at 2425 7th Ave East, Hibbing.

Next Suppuri Ontario Canada.

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