Sunday, August 18, 2013

On this Date in Minnesota History: August 18

August 18, 1980 – The Virginia, Minn., home of Albert B. Coates, “Virginia’s best known citizen,”1 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on this date.2  The house was built in 1912.

Born in Ohio, Coates came to Virginia for his health in 1897. Under the tutelage of William Rockefeller, he had his first actual mining experience at the Franklin mine as chief clerk. During his first year in Virginia, he became interested in small timber deals and branched out into using drills to explore all corners of the ranges.3 

He and his partner Morton Miller of Duluth found the first paying ore property at Old Mesabi, which is near Aurora. His discoveries also included the Miller mine in Sharon, near Buhl; the Utica mine southwest of Hibbing; the Julia mine at Virginia; and the Madrid mine, which boarders the Virginia City limits.3

Duluth News-Tribune; “Hibbing Expresses Sorrow on Miller, Coates Death”; January 12, 1922; p. 8.
3Duluth News-Tribune; “A. Coates, King of Range Mining Men Succumbs”; January 11, 1922; p. 1 

Virginia, Minn., home of Albert B. Coates

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain August 18, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

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