Eveleth Captains Homes & Immigrant Halls Walking Tour

Welcome to “The City on the Hill”
Eveleth Minnesota

Eveleth Captains Homes & Immigrant Halls Walking Tour

Memories from 1900-1925: After a twelve-hour shift at the Oliver Mining Company, the miners and their supervisors left for a long overdue period of rest and relaxation. The Mining Captains returned to the privacy and comfort of their elegant homes, while the immigrant miners often chose the camaraderie and company of their fellow countrymen. Come and join us on a tour of the lavish homes of the mining elite, and the ethnic meeting halls of the common man.

“This certainly is a strange place. It makes me think of the weird scenes from Milton’s Paradise Lost. You can see for miles in every direction. The land undulates in low hills with stunted pines or fir, and the mines and their machinery are very much in evidence. The children in my third grade class belong to the foreign persuasion, with the exception of one child. They say there are 10,000 people here, but only 2,000 are civilized folks – of the others, the Austrians and Finns are the majority. My house would amuse you, or rather alarm you with its unpromising exterior, but it is comfortable within…Please don’t look for a great deal (if you should visit), for you would be disappointed, but be exceedingly humble in your expectations and you will be much safer. Bring you warm clothes; for 35 below zero means it is cold, of course.”
Polly Bullard (1908)
Eveleth School Teacher

Mining Captains

The iron mining industry of Northeastern Minnesota imported much of its language and customs from the English mines of Cornwall. Supervisors were called Captains, locker rooms were called dries, and the meat ies they brought for lunch were called pasties. As these Captains moved up the ladder of power to become Superintendents or managers, they often retained the title of Captain because of the respect…and sometimes because of endearment. There was Captain Hearding, Captain Trezona, Captain Tom, and even Cap’ Davey. They each worked in one of the three major mines that operated here: Adams to the north, Fayal to the south, and Spruce to the west. A dense pine forest separated these mines. We hope you enjoy meeting them and their families, as you tour their once captivating and intriguing homes.

Immigrant Miners

The immigrant miners were also imported from Europe; Finns, Italians, Swedes, Slovenians, and Austrians to mention a few. They didn’t speak English, seldom brought wives, and often banded together with their fellow country men to scheme and plan about returning “home”…yet the majority stayed, and vigorously carved our town out of these iron rich hills. They congregated in their ethnic meeting halls to support each other, to celebrate life, and to push for social changes. Eveleth began in 1892 and barely survived its first few years. It progressed from board walks, mud streets, and livery stables to rick-lined streets with trolley cars, telephones, and electric lights. When visiting our Captain’s Homes and Immigrant Halls remember the colossal changes made in those twenty-five formative years.

  1. The Trezona House
  2. The Dormer-Pellenz House
  3. The Larson House
  4. The Triplex
  5. The C. E. Bailey House
  6. The Fee Office
  7. The Grabowsky House
  8. The Thomas Davey House
  9. Italian-American Hall
  10. Slovenian: SNPJ Hall
  11. Swedish: Monitor Hall
  12. The William Davey House
  13. Finnish: Urania Hall
  14. The John H. Hearding Memorial

Oral Histories: M. Coombe, R. Ferroni, J. Peterson, E. Varani, H. Lamppa, T. Kallevig

Written Histories: Barton, Pratt, Moore

Photo Credits: Don & Palma Voss, NE MN Historical Center

Architectural Consultant: M.(Damberg & Scott)

Funding: Eveleth City Council, MN Historical Society

Author & Creator: Connie Sabetti

Dedicated To: Henry C. Peterson

Copies of the Eveleth Captains Homes & Immigrant Halls Walking Tour Brochure are available at the Eveleth Public Library, Eveleth City Hall, and the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, LaurentianChamber.org 218-741-2717 or by contacting the Eveleth Heritage Committee, evelethheritagecommittee@gmail.com

Design & Production of the original brochure 2000 Vivid Design Aurora, MN