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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
Official seal of Virginia
Seal
Nickname(s): 
Queen City of the North
Location of the city of Virginiawithin St. Louis County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Virginia
within St. Louis County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County St. Louis
Named for U.S. state of Virginia
Area
 • City 19.13 sq mi (49.54 km2)
 • Land 18.80 sq mi (48.70 km2)
 • Water 0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2)
 • Metro
30.23 sq mi (78.3 km2)
Elevation
1,440 ft (440 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Estimate 
(2019)
8,373
 • Density 445.35/sq mi (171.95/km2)
 • Metro
57,178
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
55792, 55741, 55777
Area code 218
FIPS code 27-67288
GNIS ID 0662719
Website City of Virginia

Virginia is a city in St. Louis County, Minnesota, United States, on the Mesabi Iron Range. Virginia prospered as an iron mining community, and is considered the commercial center of the Mesabi Range, serving as a shopping, industrial, educational, and medical hub for the surrounding communities. The population was 8,712 at the 2010 census. Virginia is a part of the Duluth MN-WI MSA

History

Virginia was laid out in 1892, and named after Virginia, the native state of a large share of the lumbermen in the area. A post office has been in operation at Virginia since 1893.

Geography

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.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 2,962
1910 10,473 253.6%
1920 14,022 33.9%
1930 11,963 −14.7%
1940 12,264 2.5%
1950 12,486 1.8%
1960 14,034 12.4%
1970 12,450 −11.3%
1980 11,056 −11.2%
1990 9,410 −14.9%
2000 9,157 −2.7%
2010 8,712 −4.9%
2019 (est.) 8,373 −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, 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.

Points of interest

Notable people

  • W. T. Bailey – Lumber industrialist from 1897 to 1914
  • Daniel Berrigan – Peace activist
  • Jack Carlson – Professional hockey player (retired)
  • Jeff Carlson – Professional hockey player (retired)
  • Steve Carlson – Professional hockey player (retired)
  • Mark Cullen – Professional hockey player
  • Matt Cullen – Professional hockey player
  • Peter X. Fugina - educator and Minnesota state legislator
  • John Gruden – Professional hockey player (retired)
  • Frank Haege – Professional and collegiate football coach
  • John Harrington – Hockey player, member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team that won the Olympic gold medal
  • Warren Johnson – Auto racer, member of Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  • Vic Kulbitski – Football player
  • Pete LoPresti – Professional hockey player (retired)
  • Robert W. Mattson, Sr. – Minnesota Attorney General
  • Robert Mondavi – Winemaker
  • Matt Niskanen – Professional hockey player (retired) (Mt. Iron-Buhl Alumni)
  • Johnny Norlander – Professional basketball player
  • Chris Pratt – Actor, star of such films as Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World
  • Sherman Walt – Musician, bassoonist
  • Leonard C. Ward (1917-2001) – United States Army Brigadier General who served as Chief of the Army Division at the National Guard Bureau and Commander of the 46th Infantry Division

Olcott Park

Olcott Park is a 40-acre (160,000 m2) piece of land in Virginia reserved for the city's enjoyment. It has a fountain in the northern part built during the Great Depression. Also, there is a bandstand in the center, used mainly for city band performances. To the south, it borders Parkview Learning Center (see education), to the east 9th Avenue West, to the north 9th Street North, and to the west Greenwood Cemetery. The Olcott Park is also home to the Olcott Park Greenhouse. Olcott Park is named after William J. Olcott who headed The Oliver Mining Company, which was the largest mining company on the Iron Range for decades.

Climate

The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfb"(Warm Summer Continental Climate).

Climate data for Virginia, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) -8.9
(16)
-4.4
(24)
2.2
(36)
10.6
(51)
18.9
(66)
23.3
(74)
25
(77)
23.9
(75)
17.8
(64)
11.1
(52)
0.6
(33)
-6.1
(21)
9.4
(49)
Average low °C (°F) -21.1
(-6)
-16.7
(2)
-10
(14)
-2.8
(27)
3.9
(39)
8.9
(48)
11.7
(53)
10.6
(51)
6.1
(43)
0
(32)
-8.3
(17)
-17.2
(1)
-2.8
(27)
Precipitation mm (inches) 20
(0.8)
13
(0.5)
28
(1.1)
41
(1.6)
69
(2.7)
117
(4.6)
99
(3.9)
94
(3.7)
86
(3.4)
64
(2.5)
36
(1.4)
18
(0.7)
688
(27.1)
Source: Weatherbase


Economy

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

Sports

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).

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.

Education

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.

Infrastructure

Transportation

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.

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