Virginia, Minnesota

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Virginia
View of Virginia, showing a water tower and a line of wind turbines in the distance
View of Virginia, showing a water tower and a line of wind turbines in the distance
Nickname(s): 
Queen City of the North
Location of the city of Virginia within St. Louis County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Virginia
within St. Louis County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 47°31′2″N 92°32′29″W / 47.51722°N 92.54139°W / 47.51722; -92.54139Coordinates: 47°31′2″N 92°32′29″W / 47.51722°N 92.54139°W / 47.51722; -92.54139
CountryUnited States
StateMinnesota
CountySt. Louis
Named forU.S. state of Virginia
Government
 • MayorLarry Cuffe Jr.[1]
Area
 • Total19.13 sq mi (49.54 km2)
 • Land18.80 sq mi (48.70 km2)
 • Water0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2)
Elevation1,440 ft (440 m)
Population8,423
 • Estimate 
(2021)[5]
8,337
 • Density445.35/sq mi (171.95/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
55792, 55741, 55777
Area code218
FIPS code27-67288
GNIS ID0662719[3]
WebsiteCity of Virginia

Virginia is a city in St. Louis County, Minnesota, United States, on the Mesabi Iron Range. With an economy heavily reliant on large-scale iron ore mining, Virginia is considered the commercial center of the Mesabi Range. The population was 8,423 at the 2020 census.[6] Virginia is just south of the Superior National Forest and is about 50 miles (80 km) south of the Canada–United States border and 55 miles (89 km) northwest of Duluth, Minnesota. Virginia is a part of the Duluth metropolitan area[7] and U.S. Highway 53 runs through town.

History[edit]

Virginia was laid out in 1892, and named after Virginia, the native state of a large share of the lumbermen in the area at that time.[8] A post office has been in operation at Virginia since 1893.[9] Virginia was incorporated in February 1895. It was a logging community first, then it was developed as an iron mining community. The mines in the Virginia area were prosperous and setting new records consistently by the late 1890s. The main population boom began after mining camps were built for entrepreneurs and financiers including Andrew Carnegie, Leonidas Merritt, Jay Cooke, John D. Rockefeller, William J. Olcott, James J. Hill, and others. With the use of diamond drills, mules, and a massive labor force, the mines were able to move millions of tons per year and ship them out of the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, as well as Two Harbors.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.18 square miles (49.68 km2); 18.85 square miles (48.82 km2) is land and 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2) is water.[10] Lakes in Virginia include Silver Lake and Bailey Lake. The area was originally named Qeechaquepagem by an Ojibwe tribe, which roughly means "lake of the north birds."

Virginia is part of the Quad Cities, which also include nearby Eveleth, Gilbert, and Mountain Iron.

Climate[edit]

The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfb" (Warm Summer Continental Climate). Summers are warm, sometimes hot, and winters are severely cold.

Climate data for Virginia, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −9
(16)
−4
(24)
2
(36)
11
(51)
19
(66)
23
(74)
25
(77)
24
(75)
18
(64)
11
(52)
1
(33)
−6
(21)
9
(49)
Average low °C (°F) −21
(−6)
−17
(2)
−10
(14)
−3
(27)
4
(39)
9
(48)
12
(53)
11
(51)
6
(43)
0
(32)
−8
(17)
−17
(1)
−3
(27)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 20
(0.8)
13
(0.5)
28
(1.1)
41
(1.6)
69
(2.7)
120
(4.6)
99
(3.9)
94
(3.7)
86
(3.4)
64
(2.5)
36
(1.4)
18
(0.7)
690
(27.1)
Source: Weatherbase [11]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19002,962
191010,473253.6%
192014,02233.9%
193011,963−14.7%
194012,2642.5%
195012,4861.8%
196014,03412.4%
197012,450−11.3%
198011,056−11.2%
19909,410−14.9%
20009,157−2.7%
20108,712−4.9%
20208,423−3.3%
2021 (est.)8,337[5]−1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
2013 Estimate[13]

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census,[4] there were 8,712 people, 4,242 households, and 2,019 families living in the city. The population density was 462.2 inhabitants per square mile (178.5/km2). There were 4,738 housing units at an average density of 251.4 per square mile (97.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.7% White, 0.6% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 4,242 households, of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.7% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.4% were non-families. 46.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.95 and the average family size was 2.74.

The median age in the city was 44.9 years. 18.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.9% were from 45 to 64; and 22% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,157 people, 4,333 households, and 2,270 families living in the city. The population density was 486.1 people per square mile (187.7/km2). There were 4,692 housing units at an average density of 249.1 per square mile (96.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.17% White, 0.46% African American, 2.24% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population. 21.4% were of Finnish, 13.3% German, 9.9% Norwegian, 8.8% Italian, and 7.8% Swedish ancestry.

There were 4,333 households, out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 42.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 19.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,873, and the median income for a family was $43,419. Males had a median income of $38,834 versus $22,473 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,776. About 10.6% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.6% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Presidential election results
Precinct General Election Results[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 47.8% 2,040 50.0% 2,134 2.2% 98
2016 44.1% 1,854 47.0% 1,976 8.9% 375
2012 34.5% 1,607 62.3% 2,902 3.2% 148
2008 33.4% 1,612 64.0% 3,090 2.6% 125
2004 32.1% 1,595 66.6% 3,310 1.3% 66
2000 30.5% 1,453 60.8% 2,901 8.7% 416
1996 23.3% 1,066 66.3% 3,036 10.4% 479
1992 20.8% 1,064 62.2% 3,183 17.0% 871
1988 27.5% 1,476 72.5% 3,885 0.0% 0
1984 30.4% 1,790 69.6% 4,102 0.0% 0
1980 32.7% 2,004 59.4% 3,637 7.8% 479
1976 34.1% 2,296 64.0% 4,309 1.9% 130
1968 28.6% 1,829 69.4% 4,429 2.0% 128
1964 28.5% 1,968 71.4% 4,935 0.1% 12
1960 39.7% 2,809 60.1% 4,254 0.2% 11

Economy[edit]

Virginia is located on the Mesabi Range, one of the sub-regions within Minnesota's Iron Range. Virginia is considered the commerce center of the Mesabi Range. Virginia serves as a shopping, industrial, educational, and medical hub for the surrounding communities.

The Rouchleau open pit iron mine, now closed

Arts and culture[edit]

Virginia is the home of the Land of the Loon festival, an annual event in June.[15]

Points of interest[edit]

Urban area[edit]

The Virginia urban area is a relatively large area, spread out to a 30-mile radius. Major cities covered are Virginia, Hibbing, Mountain Iron, Eveleth, Gilbert, Fayal, and Chisholm. Virginia is the commercial hub of the area, while Hibbing has a large residential population. Nearby 45 miles South is Duluth, a significantly larger city, but both areas are within St. Louis County. Virginia is also a part of the Duluth MN-WI Metropolitan Area. The Duluth Metro is the second-largest metro in Minnesota.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Olcott Park is a city park in Virginia. It has a fountain in the northern part of the park, built in 1937. There is a bandstand in the center, used mainly for city band performances. To the South it borders Parkview Learning Center, to the East 9th Avenue West, to the North 9th Street North, and to the West Greenwood Cemetery. Olcott Park is also home to the Olcott Park Greenhouse. Olcott Park is named after William J. Olcott, who headed the Oliver Iron Mining Company, the largest mining company on the Iron Range for decades.

Education[edit]

The public high school is Rock Ridge Public Schools, and the public elementary schools are Parkview Learning Center (early childhood programs through second grade) and Roosevelt Elementary (grades three through six). The higher education institution for the city is Mesabi Range Community and Technical College. The Virginia Public Library is also featured as an educational place for people of all ages. Marquette Catholic School is a private elementary school operated by the Duluth Diocese. Northland Learning Center, a cooperative alternative school for students with disciplinary problems or other special circumstances, operates in the former James Madison Elementary School, which is still owned by ISD No. 706.

Sports[edit]

Virginia High School is the home of the Blue Devils. Starting with the 2022-23 school year, Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert High Schools are combining into a new high school, Rock Ridge High School, with new mascot the Wolverines (a blend of the Virginia Blue Devils and the Eveleth-Gilbert Bears).[16]

The main high school sport in Virginia is ice hockey. The primary hockey arena in Virginia is the Miners Memorial Building. A new complex, the Miners Event and Convention Center (MECC), with two planned ice arenas, is under construction. The MECC will incorporate many elements from the old Miners Building into the new construction, like the old Miners ice arena seats.[17]

Media[edit]

News media[edit]

  • The Mesabi Tribune, newspaper published in Virginia and Hibbing, Minnesota

Television[edit]

Stations serving Virginia are received from the Duluth television market:

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Virginia is a regional transportation hub within the Mesabi Range. Major roadways include U.S. routes 53 and 169, as well as State Highway 135 (MN 135). Other main routes include 2nd Avenue West, 12th Avenue West, 13th Street South, 8th Street South, and 9th Street North. The downtown area of Virginia is centered along Chestnut Street. Arrowhead Transportation also allows for city bussing through the Virginia Metro area.


In 2017 the U.S. 53 Bridge was built. The Bridge is the tallest bridge in the state of Minnesota and is the main bridge to travel from the freeway from southern Minnesota to reach the northern state. in 2021 the bridge was renamed to the Thomas Rukavina Memorial Bridge.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MN Election Results". electionresults.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Virginia, Minnesota
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved April 23, 2011.[dead link]
  7. ^ Bureau, US Census. "2020 State-based Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Maps". Census.gov. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 491.
  9. ^ "St. Louis County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  11. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on August 10, 2013.
  12. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  14. ^ "Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State - Election Results".
  15. ^ "Events In Virginia". City of Virginia, MN. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  16. ^ Nelson, Joe (January 24, 2020). "Historic Minnesota hockey schools consolidate to form new team". Bring Me the News. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  17. ^ Ryan, Leah (February 26, 2020). "New Miners building 'is a major, not a minor project'". Mesabi Tribune. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  18. ^ "Jeff Carlson (a.k.a. Jeff Hanson, #18)". Arena Central. Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2007.
  19. ^ Field Level Media (October 5, 2020). "Former Bulldog Matt Niskanen retires after 13 seasons in NHL". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  20. ^ Brown, Aaron (June 29, 2015). "Chris Pratt was born on the Iron Range". Minnesota Brown. Retrieved September 24, 2021.

External links[edit]