Monday, February 25, 2019

If You're Ever In Hibbing.... A Walking Tour for Dylan Fans

1956 Hibbing Phone Directory. You could've just looked
up the Zimmermans and asked Bob where the hot spots
were. Movie theaters & the A&W were regular hangouts.
I recently learned about a fellow who went to Hibbing as a Dylan fan and came away feeling that the town had not suitably recognized it's Native Son. His op-ed piece appeared in our local newspaper here in Duluth, and last Monday appeared on Expecting Rain.

In response I wanted to make a few remarks about the good people of Hibbing and a little history so that no one gets the wrong idea if they, too, wish to make the trek. There really are a variety of landmarks for Dylan fans. You just have to know where to look.

For years Zimmy’s restaurant, Howard Street Books and the Hibbing High School provided emotional connecting points for Dylan fans visiting Hibbing from all over the world. On one occasion I was asked to bring a fellow visiting from Sweden to see some of the sites, which were more than satisfying for this young man who’d seen Dylan seven times in Sweden plus a concert in Barcelona. He was thrilled to have me take his picture in front of the former Zimmerman home on Bob Dylan Drive.

Like a lot of businesses on the Iron Range, a financial crisis resulted in the closure of Zimmy’s and eventually the owner of Howard Street Books shuttered the bookstore. There were tears shed over these things, because for many this was the heart of Hibbing’s Dylan Days each May.

Despite these losses, the Hibbing Library has created a really fine “Bob Dylan Walking Tour” with 14 points of interest. 

You can't beat Hibbing High for stimulating Bob memories and stories.
For what it's worth, fans will be pleased to learn that there is a group of people in the Hibbing community who have been meeting for a couple years to produce an additional landmark or touchstone for fans. Lately they have been meeting weekly with the hope of a May 24 (Bob’s birthday) groundbreaking ceremony.

It’s not my place to break the news on those details. I simply want to note that Hibbing is not indifferent to its celebrated hometown Nobel Laureate.

* * * *
Since we're moving toward spring here soon, I may as well mention that the Duluth Dylan Fest folks have been busy assembling another top-drawer week of music, poetry, authors and art. Here is the schedule for the 2019 Duluth Dylan Fest, with a few as yet unconfirmed acts....


Photos on this page by the author. Items from the William Pagel Archives. (Thanks, Bill)


Unknown said...

i had a great time when i went to hibbing the libarary walking tour helped and the chief of police took pictures of me in front of bob's old house and now we our friends. chief of police not bob yet. i will come back to this town again. all the people were real freindly. i would suggest anyone to go to this town to get a true feel of how bob grew up. signed "DYLAN" James Stansbury

ps The Blowing alley was a treat to see where bob once bowled

Ed Newman said...

Hey, thanks for the endorsement. Yes, lots of good people there. If you return, we have some Bob-sites in Duluth, too.
Here is a blog post I shared in 2015
and there is a new Dylan Tour outline at
The actual Tour Flyer is here:
Take an extra day... and say "Hi" when you do.