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2013-11-22 / Features

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30

RIP: The Range’s Main Street businesses of past

Editor’s note: I asked readers to go down memory lane and revisit some of their favorite small businesses that are no more. Below are their comments. Remember to give some love to your favorite small businesses today, so they’re sure to be here tomorrow.

R.I.P., much-loved small businesses of the past!

Jean Cole

Two that come to mind are Steve’s Burgers and Brown Drug. Also, I miss the two theaters downtown...The Maco and the Grenada. I miss how the marquee lights seemed to light up the whole street, and how the candy in the glass counter seemed to shine and sparkle and call to me like jewelry in Tiffany’s! The red velvet ropes, red velvet seats, the big curtains and the HUGE screen all added up to a special and memorial movie treat. A trip to the movies was something that only happened every so often. It was exciting!! – Michelle Zadra

Ostrov’s and Pic and Pay Alicia Milbridge

Range Catering on 2nd Ave. in Virginia and Pike-Sand Co-op on Hwy. 169. - Jean Cole

I remember when I was a little kid we’d go into the (Eveleth) drug store and pick up Valentine’s Day cards to hand out at school and then as I got a little older I always used to save some of my allowance and go down there and buy my Mom a mother’s day gift from their cute little gift area. They had the cutest things there. It was Gilson’s at one time. – Jen Lehman

There were two newsstand type stores... the Maco News was run by my great aunt Margaret Carlson... and then the Newsette... and hey, Fiola’s Barbershop...and Brownie TV before that family got into furniture...and The Hub…Sakrison’s Hobby Shop…so many good ones. – Charlie Johnson

Martilla Drug, Weinzerl’s Sporting Goods and Jewelry, Carlson’s Café, Kitto Hardware…all former Tower businesses. – Bill Macomber

I remember as a child, I would walk down the alley from the flower shop to pick up lunch at the Bus News - they made great hamburgers!! It was the place to catch the Greyhound, buy a magazine, and they had a little lunch counter. It was located in the building that is now part of Virginia Surplus where the gun shop is. I also miss Coast to Coast...they had EVERYTHING! And The Cedar Hutch - Bess Metsa always had the most unique and wonderful gifts. – Mary Jo Ralston

Brown Drug! Was on the corner where Subway is now. Above it used to be the Legion. Brown Drug closed in 1986 and the building burned a year or two later. My dad was the manager there for 30 years. I worked there for the last 8 years it was open. I really miss it! One of the things that made it so cool was that we would have a few elderly people who would call in an order, one of us girls would gather it together for them to make it easy for them to get what they needed. You don’t find service like that anymore! Liquor store in the front of the building (again, there would be a few shopby phone customers) and there was the coolest dumb-waiter under the front counter so we could move cases of beer and liquor and stock from the basement store room without having to carry up the steps. They had a huge selection of gifts, pharmacy, greeting cards, large tobacco section, books, magazines, and every health and beauty item a person could want! Make-up counter, watches, sunglasses, photo developing, camera sales. And every few months, Norb’s shaver repair would travel to Virginia and set up a table to repair various shavers. – Tammy Hejda

Gately’s and Ketola’s department stores ...Turen-Welch Jewelry ...Tini Plumbing.Charlie Johnson

My computer store Cyclone Computers Plus on Chestnut St. – Ron Smith, Jr.

Hejda’s TV and Sound Center. Family owned. My hubby knew everything about everything they sold, and when I met him, he was always going to someone’s house to install and wire a VCR, or stereo, and teach people his to use them. Again, customer service way above what is usually found today. – Tammy Hejda

My wife still has her hangers from The Quality Shop! Al Reller

Loved Brown Drug. I would do lots of my Christmas shopping there as a high schooler. They were patient and kind to people with not much green in their wallet. Also Alto’s and The Hub and Western Auto. Mary Ann Grams Wycoff

McCabe Jewelry. Mrs. Abernathy and her son Jerry McCabe were the proprieters; lovely people. My husband proposed to me right outside their door in 1965 n we went right in and they were waiting for us! – Kay Torkkola

In Hoyt Lakes, the V Store, Montgomery Wards. In Aurora, Rodby Jewelry Store, Charlie’s Shoe Shop, and Cherro’s. And Lampaa’s in Embarrass. In Virginia, Sakrison’s Hobby store. – Marcia Lawyer

The Cole Co. in Virginia. It lives on today as Copy Magic, on the other side of Chestnut St. – Jean Cole

Burgess Chevrolet, Arrowhead Garage Co., Standard Motor Co. And of course, those famous watering holes, Daisy Bay Supper Club, and, Iron Ore Bar. And certainly cannot leave out the Tower Bakery. Myre’s Men’s Clothing was the best place on the Range to buy a fedora. Stefanich’s Market with their bulk cookie bins at child height, Aunt Sally’s cookies were the best. – Bill Macomber

In Virginia, Woolworth’s. Does anyone remember the lunch counter and Blackie the talking bird? Then, just down the block from there was the old Herberger’s. Shopping before malls. And, Margaret’s store in Biwabik. – Kim Sampson

Pete Schultz’s in Chisholm. Had the best green rivers and popcorn to die for! – Paul McDonald

Wow. It makes me sad to see all these stores of the past. There were three furniture stores in Eveleth. I remember Sagan’s, what great people.

There was the Golden

Rule clothing store. Oscar

Kaner’s outlet store. Ernie’s pool hall where at 14 I took on

Leonard Gentilini in 9 ball. My dad was from Omaha , my mom of course a Hogan. I grew up playing on the number one hockey team in Minnesota. What were the odds my mother would drag my father from Hawaii to Eveleth? Favorite place? The Spa restaurant on Ely Lake. Best chicken in the world! – Peter Gilliam

Stevenson’s, Jarmin’s, The Palace, The Hub, Alto’s, The Quality Shop, Robert’s, all great clothing stores on Chestnut Street in Virginia! So sad to not have these businesses! – Mary Jo Ralston

Bayuk’s Drycleaners. Bridgeman’s. Ohhhhhhh yes…The Spa.... chicken baskets! HUGE treat! – Mary Bayuk Trausch- Martin

Aggie’s Restaurant on the Parkville Road to Mt. Iron, BYOB. Great chicken. Booth in the kitchen. – Jean Cole

Eveleth Variety Store-- We use to go at lunch at buy penny candies. – Wanda McGillivray

Ting Town outside of Chisholm-had the best BBQ beef sandwiches. Bowzer’s on the outskirts of Chisholm in Balkan Township. Great pizza and live music.Tibroc Hotel in Chisholm. Big bear outside. Late night burgers at Kubow’s in Chisholm. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. – Paul McDonald

Downstairs of the Coates there was a bar... Susan Henke

I remember the disco downstairs of the Coates. Used to go there and then followed up with a stop at Mitch’s in Eveleth back in the day. – Paul McDonald

The A&W on Hoover Road in Virginia and another north of the cemetery in Eveleth... and their competition was the Frosty Top on the way to Gilbert. And if you want to talk movies, Von’s Drive In and the Grant Theatre in Eveleth, where our family still stands for the Fourth of July parades even though the theatre is long gone. – Charlie Johnson

The Pop Shoppe! Right, Mike Zadra?? – Michelle Zadra

Bailey’s Town Pump was a good place for gas and car service. The Pop Shoppe was a place to go buy pop by the case… all flavors, you’d walk through the store and fill up the red cases with all the flavors you wanted.. I THINK at one time it was on south Second, then over in the strip mall by F&D Meats. They had some interesting flavors beyond the usual colas and fruit flavors and lemon limes…pineapple, I think was a good one. – Charlie Johnson

Bailey’s Town Pump was on 6th Avenue North - across from the feed store. – Mary Jo Ralston

My dad always filled up the truck at Bailey’s. – Peter Gilliam

Bailey’s Town Pump used to be across from Super One. It was a nice, big brick gas station...full service, complete with the hose you drove over that triggered a bell for the serviceman (or lady... they employed both). And they had service bays for oil changes and other mechanical needs. – Charlie Johnson

Weiberg’s in Markham - it was literally the cornerstone of the community. People always met there for coffee, conversation, bait, food, you name it. – Jayson Saumer

Remember the old bus station? It’s now the Virginia Elks Lodge. – Mary Jo Ralston

Greasy Steve’s in Virginia. Ben’s Service, Tuna’s, Norman’s, Sam and Buck’s, Spies, Red Owl, Piggly Wiggly, the Dairy Store, Staver Foundry, Von’s Drive-In. Robert’s, Ketola’s. The Moose. The Pikwik. – Glen Economy

The Virginian. Country and western music. And dancing girls. Of course I was too young to get inside the place. Also, The Maco News next door to the Maco Theater. And The Granada Theater. $1.50 movies for kids under 12. A good deal for us on a $3.00/week allowance. Also, Dollar Barn and Gilley’s in Cook get a vote too. I married a Cook girl and have many great memories of those businesses. – Paul Raukar

Gilley’s Naturals and Cook Dollar Barn!!! *sniff sniff* Life is not the same without them! – Chelsea Raukar

Red Owl! The magic of the conveyor that would take your groceries under the STORE! All us kids wanted to ride in one of those bins! – Michelle Zadra

Also, The Eldorado on Chestnut. They had great pizzas when I was a kid. And it was the one of the first bars in Virginia where I had the chance to perform. The acoustics were great in that building. The Hub was a great clothing store. Thanks for all the formal rentals, Mr. Rubinstein. Rose’s Pizza on 8th Street. – Paul Raukar

Here’s a look at Chestnut Street from 30+ years ago...see if you remember some of these oldies!

Virginia Café, Zimmerman Furniture, Norman’s Bar, Koski’s Hardware, D & S Café, Michael’s Restaurant, Sherry’s Uniform Shop, Western Auto, Ringer’s Athletics, Sammy’s Bar and Lounge, Western Auto, Pederson’s Studio, The Leather Loft, Pickwick Bar, The Barbers, Dostal Electric, Fiola the Clipper, Rupp Furniture, The Franklin House, Maki’s Jewelry, Pizza Bill’s..... and these are just the ones that I can remember!! – Mary Jo Ralston

Cottage Grocery. Mr. Steak. Jerry Lewis Cinema. – Jeff Stockey

Remember Mr. Food? I think it used to be where the New China Buffet currently stands. – Paul Raukar

Little Italy! – Mary Jo Ralston

Little Italy and Old Mexico! This makes me so homesick! – Lindsay Bonner Pavelka

In Hibbing: Sach’s on 4th, Sach’s Brothers, Feldman’s, la Boutique, Shapiro’s Drug Store, Ace Hardware. – Jan Carey

Haurunen’s and Bodovinetz Grocery stores on north side as well as Fleck’s.Carol Umhauer

VIrginia had a BIG dry cleaners...TROY dry cleaners at 6th and 1st St. south, across from the utility plant, and the Arrow Shirt Factory at what is now Northland Office Center on 3rd Ave. and 1st St. So. – Charlie Johnson

Gambucci’s and Feldman’s in Hibbing. Both were magical places when I was a kid and I loved the treat of looking and dreaming of things while my parents were shopping. (And the fun of collecting green stamps from Feldman’s and pasting them in books for my mom.) – Suzanne Rian

As one of the last owners of the Quality Shop, you can’t forget J&A cafe, right across the street. Great burgers. And way way way back, the first one of its kind in Virginia, Range Lettering located right next door to Grande’s. Did all the high school garments. – Steve Peterson

J&A became Wessman’s Cafe. Phyllis was the BEST waitress ever! She later worked for the city, and was the meter maid. (I’m sure there’s a more politically correct name for that position now! ) – Tammy Hejda

Wolf Dry Cleaners and shoe repair, I knew it when it was run by the Arn family. Between Brown Drug and the Quality Shop. The Tot Shop, South on 5th Avenue, behind Brown Drug. Then Queen City Sun Printing. – Tammy Hejda

All the neighborhood grocery stores in Chisholm-Bizal’s, Sartor’s, Vuicichi’s, Aronson’s, Budget Market to name a few. – Paul McDonald

Turin Welch Jewelers, and wasn’t there also McCabe’s Jewelers? Herberger’s was also downtown. Jarmins, The Hub, The Palace. Kathy Riordan

Gish Jewelers. Mr. Gish would clean my grandma’s wedding rings and call out the crud he would find: “Meatloaf!” “Bread dough!” As a little kid I would giggle so hard! Grandma NEVER took off her wedding rings! I assume he was doing it to tease me... but who really knows? – Tammy Hejda

What about Maki Jewelers? – Vicky Juntunen

Sue’s Sweet Shop in Cotton!!! Best homemade pies, hot turkey sandwiches, and plate-size thin pancakes! I shed a tear every time I drive by the former restaurant. – Carrie Bezek

Frank Cerkvenik’s grocery store in Mt. Iron was small and very convenient to stop after work. As a working mom, I appreciated being able to quickly get food for supper etc. and always friendly. – Char Luoma

Many a student’s lunch money was spent at Cerkvenik’s! – Tammy Hejda

Buttons and Bows fabric store, The Cedar Hutch, Oak and Art. Jayme Mehle

Woodward’s bookstore. – Tina Mattson

2nd Ave. had many small family owned grocery stores like Mattson’s, Hill’s, Ostrov’s, Frische’s, to mention a few. – Elder Metsa

Down to Earth, hemp and hydroponics! – Marlise Riffel

Corbet’s Corset Shop, where Access Broadband is now. – Mary Creighton

Nelson’s Hardware on Main Street in Tower! James “Big Jim” Nelson—my grandpa—ran the store from 1977 to 2002. I was only five when he sold it, but I remember watching the 4th of July parades from the roof. (What a view!) He was (and still is) a hard worker and ran a good store. Everybody around Tower could count on Nelson’s for all of their hardware needs! – Tucker Nelson

Also, my wacky, but lovable, great-uncle Dennis owned DePaulis Upholstery in Aurora back in the 60s and 70s. – Tucker Nelson

Cottage Grocery on the end of 5th Ave. by south side park. My grandma Tuomi would give us a quarter and we would walk down and buy a treat and some other item she happened to need when we went to visit. – Sara Thompson

Pec’s Tot Shop in Virginia - where Access Computers is now - my parents lived upstairs when they were first married, while they were building our house. And Beddo’s Music. It was in the 500 block of Chestnut. I used to buy all of my sheet music there when I first started taking piano. – Mary Jo Ralston

So many come to mind. How about Eveleth’s Golden Rule. It was fascinating as it seemed so large to children. We put our feet in the shoe x-ray machine over and over as if it was a game (of course, now we understand x-ray exposure). The most exciting was the change holder that went on the cable up to the office. It was like watching a ski chair go up and then down. No change was made on the main floor, only upstairs and the bills went up while the change came down. It was an event in itself. – Char Luoma

I have a 1931 Mesaba Range telephone directory that has so many small businesses in it. It is a true piece of our local history. The

grocery stores alone are 189 businesses! 3 more are wholesale and 10 offering home deliveries. 31 locations are covered by the phone book and numbers do not have a prefix, just a number that may or may not be followed by a letter of the alphabet. Once, I played a game if any of my husband’s aunts could remember their home phone number from that time. None could. I have used it in school and students enjoyed finding their grandparents, etc. I wondered how many had a telephone in the 1930’s. – Char Luoma Jose’s Old Mexico in Virginia, loved that food. – Nevada Littlewolf Nelson’s Hardware in Tower was replaced by Erickson’s hardware... It was a wonderful store and they fixed things and didn’t make you feel like and idiot. – Al Reller Nature’s Treasures and Family Video in Virginia. - Patricia Monacelli Breen’s Used Goods and Klun’s Market; both N. Central businesses and members of Ely’s N. Central Business Association. But even more I miss another member; Henry of Henry’s Shoe Repair. We all miss you Henry. – Steve Piragis I miss Family Video and Big Timber Coffee.

Kim Stokes Oh, Martella’s Drug Store in Tower where the owner used to wrap the ice cream carton in newspaper for insulation and tell how people traveled long distances without it melting. – Char Luoma Made Rite Pizza in Ely - Helen Bacher not only served a great pizza during the early hours of the morning, but the place was a showcase for entertainment after bar closing. – Terry Jackson Rose’s pizza in Virginia, 8th St. – Beth Peterson Teske’s Jewelry, Jim Dandy and Tuffy’s in Hibbing are greatly missed. – Lori Thompson Brown Drug. It was sad when it burned. And I will never stop missing the Maco Theater. What is happening to the marquee is especially tragic. – Pam Brunfelt Mark’s Ark on Second Avenue, and The Unusual Place in Eveleth, both were filled with treasures. I could waste a lot of time in both those places. – Mary Creighton

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