Bob dylan ‘s footsteps Hibbing Part-1

Hibbing Drive-In Theater on a 1972 Minnesota

Hibbing Drive-In Theater on a 1972 Minnesota Historical Aerial Photographs Online (MHAPO) aerial photograph.

The 350 car Hibbing Drive-in Theater

The 350 car Hibbing Drive-in Theater,11364 East Highway 37, Hibbing, MN, opened in 1955 and was sold by the family in 1980. It closed in 1985.

Photograph courtesy of Clint Lindstrom

34-Agudath Achim Synagogue at 2320 2nd Avenue West.

The Jewish community was so small that Hibbing did not have a rabbi. When it came time for Bob to study for his bar mitzvah a rabbi arrived by bus from New York. The rabbi was a very old man, with black robes and a white beard, like a character from the Old Testament. The Jewish community found him a room downtown and, every day after school, Bob went there and studied with him. Bob had his bar mitzvah in May 1954. There was a party for 400 guests at the Androy Hotel, with relatives driving in from Duluth and beyond. Afterward, the Jews did not want to keep the Orthodox rabbi on — he looked too old-fashioned in go-ahead 1954 Hibbing — and so he went back to New York.

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The Hibbing synagogue, Agudath Achim congregation bought the Swedish Evangelical

The Hibbing synagogue, Agudath Achim congregation bought the Swedish Evangelical Emanuel Lutheran Church from the Oliver Mining Co. in 1922 and had it moved from North Hibbing to 2nd Avenue West. The steeple was removed and the interior reconfigured for use as a Jewish house of worship. The congregation disbanded by the 1980s when the structure was sold and turned into an apartment buiilding.

“The Zimmermans have another son, David, 17, a serious music student and fine piano player. He also has an excellent voice and occasionally performs as a volunteer cantor in the Hibbing synagogue, chanting the entire service with admirable intonation. David’s chanting, if one listens closely, sounds a bit like Bobby’s. It seems to come from the heart and reaches out to other hearts.”

I went to church on Sunday and she passed by,
My love for her is taking such a long time to die…

Rear view.

Rear view.

“The former Agudath Achim Synagogue in Hibbing, Minn., where Bob Dylan became bar mitzvah. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the building that formerly housed Agudath Achim Synagogue, at 2320 W. Second St., in Hibbing, Minn., the Orthodox shul where the Zimmerman family worshipped and where 13-year-old Bobby Zimmerman marked his religious coming of age by chanting the haftarah when he became bar mitzvah, is up for sale. The white building with four golden stained-glass windows and a three-color circle with the Star of David at the south peak is listed for sale on the website Craigslist and is being shown by Perella & Associates as a possible single-family home or duplex, and the asking price is $119,000.”

Upper left is the synagogue when it was still a Swedish Lutheran Church and still in North Hibbing.
Upper left is the synagogue when it was still a Swedish Lutheran Church and still in North Hibbing.

Bob Zimmerman’s Bar Mitzvah (בר מצוה)10:00 Saturday 12 June 1954

20:00 Dinner Dance, Georgian Room, Androy Hotel

“The Fifties were a simpler time. You had the whole town to roam around in, and there didn’t seem to be any sadness or fear or insecurity. It was just woods and sky and rivers and streams, winter and summer, spring, autumn. The changing of the seasons. The culture was mainly circuses and carnivals, preachers and barnstorming pilots, hillbilly shows and comedians, big bands and whatnot. Powerful radio shows and powerful radio music…”

The Georgian Room, Androy Hotel, Hibbing, where the bar mitzvah dinner took place.

The Georgian Room, Androy Hotel, Hibbing, where the bar mitzvah dinner took place

The Maki Trio Famous Song & Dance Orchestra

The Maki Trio Famous Song & Dance Orchestra

Arvo Maki — accordion
Signe Maki — saxophone
Sulo Maki — drums





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  1. Odessa is a Ukrainian sea gates on the Black Sea now and has no such hard winters as Russia. Ukrainian climate is milder. And. by the way, life in Hibbing was very close to the life we have in Lugansk and Donetsk regions. Anyway, a great article!

  2. Excellent article!! It’s ALWAYS good to be informed about the roots of the GREATEST SONGWRITER TO EVER BE BORN!!! B-O-B D-Y-L-A-N

  3. Loved the article . What a great family history no wonder he is the great Bobby Dylan. destined for success and greatness.

  4. I moved to Hibbing in the early 60’s when I was 16 years old. Bob had already ventured away from the town. I actually saw him in the school though. He was just at the beginning of his fame and I really didn’t know much about him and wasn’t impressed when he walked past my locker and said hi to Susie Storm who was his next door neighbor. I saw his mother in the clothing store where she worked and I met his brother David when he was driving around town offering rides in the yellow convertible that Bob had bought him. I did see him in 1976 for the Bicentennial Celebration in Hibbing. His brother David was preforming at the high school by directing a concert. I had moved to CA by that time but me, my husband and children had come to Hibbing to visit my dad. That night, I was sitting in the balcony area with my husband and by that time we were both big fans of Dylan. Bob was also sitting in the balcony with his children who were playing in the rows of empty seats. My husband and I were mesmerized – Bob Dylan….. but we respected his privacy. At one point that night I got up to go to the rest room and as I was walking down the hall of the school Bob walked by in the other direction all alone. He has the bluest of blue eyes and we looked at each other and he smiled. He would have talked to me but I was so shy and so I missed my chance – I still cringe after all these years that I didn’t talk to him. I will always remember my close encounter with him that night. He was not mobbed in Hibbing because he was so different and not appreciated for his brilliance. I understand that he used to perform in the high school talent shows and was booed off stage. I wish that my family had moved to Hibbing sooner so I could have known him. I would just love to talk with him – he is a treasure. I just finished watching the documentary on Netflix about Rolling Thunder and in watching it last night brought back such emotion that I had been so near but yet so far. Just loving Bob Dylan.

  5. Our son, Benjamin, gave us a pair of concert tix to see Bob Dylan back in the early 90’s in Tallahassee FL. He had saved his lunch money to purchase them and give us as a present. Benjamin loved concerts and would invite me to go along with him and his friends to see Nirvana which was so cool yet I didn’t realize until years later. My husband, Charlie, was a huge Dylan fan and had followed him since the 60’s. He turned me on to some good music one night and I heard Lay Lady Lay for the very first time. Well, the concert was outstanding and a night not to be forgotten. I was right up close to the stage and could feel Bob Dylan’s breath singing all his greatest. I have been in love ever since! I have to listen to him every night before going to sleep. Never ever forgot how great it was to see Bobby Zimmerman on stage.

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