Coleraine, MN

About Coleraine

The historic iron mining town of Coleraine is right on the Mesabi Trail eight miles east of Grand Rapids. Coleraine has a population of nearly 2,000. The town of Bovey is next door to the north. Explore BOTH towns!

Top Attractions

Coleraine has some of the richest mining history on the Mesabi Range. It is also home to beautiful Trout Lake. On the north end of Trout lake is Cotton Park with a boat launch and swimming beach with lifeguard. Nearby is the lovely Longyear Park and pavilion. History buffs enjoy Longyear Park’s mining memorials. Eagle Ridge, a wonderful 18-hole golf course, overlooks Trout Lake.

The City of Coleraine web site has a self-guided historical walking/biking map with excellent narrative that takes you on a tour of 14 historical or notable buildings and sites. Included in that list is one of the original and extraordinary Andrew Carnegie Libraries which has been preserved in its original condition and is still in use. A log church, the first church in Coleraine, is in town. Coleraine boasts two other unique church buildings. The Mount Itasca ski jump, biathlon, ski, and snowboard center is easy to reach by bicycle. Tip: Take a photo standing in front of a real 70-meter ski jump.

History

Following the final retreat of glaciers from northeastern Minnesota approximately 10,000 years ago, native peoples migrated north and west. The Dakota people historically occupied the area. Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe/Anishinaabe), the most populous tribe in North America, migrated westward and the Dakota moved west of the Mississippi in the seventeenth century. There were periods of peace and conflict between the two tribes, but the stream of European American settlers into their territories resulted in conflict. The U.S. Government ultimately removed both tribes from their native territories and put them on reservations.

The first major industry was the wholesale logging of the entire northeastern (‘arrowhead’) portion of the state. Mining followed logging.

Coleraine mining was led by the remarkable John C. Greenway, General Supervisor of the Canisteo Mining District, planned the town of Coleraine in 1905 and began development in 1906. He named the town after his boss, Thomas Cole, president of the Oliver Mining Company.

The adjacent town of Bovey was built before Coleraine. Bovey was a rough and rowdy town of many saloons and other businesses, but Greenway wanted Coleraine to be more respectable and so planned the building of churches, a magnificent school (good schools attracted residents when every town competed for labor for their respective mines), and park. As author Donald L. Boese, states in his book John C. Greenway and the Opening of the Western Mesabi, “The company-controlled city administration carefully screened all potential residents. The two bars in town were tightly regulated and encouraged to sell as much soda pop as possible, and, of course, gamblers and prostitutes were nowhere to be seen.”

Traditional mining of the Canisteo Mine on the edge of town began in 1907 and continued until 1980.

Events & Festivities

Visit the City of Coleraine web site.

Services

There are restaurants and gas stations in town.

Access Point From Hwy 169, turn onto Curley Ave for .3 mile (following signs to the Mesabi Trail). Trail access is on the north side of the intersections of Cole Ave, Gunn St, and Curley Ave - between the red & white buildings. Parking for the Mesabi Trail is at Longyear Park - turn right onto Cole Ave, the park is 2.5 blocks away.
Coleraine Access Point

From Hwy 169, turn onto Curley Ave for .3 mile (following signs to the Mesabi Trail). Trail access is on the north side of the intersections of Cole Ave, Gunn St, and Curley Ave - between the red & white buildings. Parking for the Mesabi Trail is at Longyear Park - turn right onto Cole Ave, the park is 2.5 blocks away.

4 Seasons Market – Ice Cream & More!

54 Roosevelt Avenue
Bovey, MN 55709

218-245-1669

4 Seasons Market – Ice Cream & More!

54 Roosevelt Avenue
Bovey, MN 55709

218-245-1669

Funding Source

The Mesabi Trail™ has been funded in part by the LCCMR and the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund.