Originally, the area where Howard Street is located today was just a piece of uneven, logged-over land. During the early 1900s, in order to draw people out of North Hibbing and into South Hibbing, the mining companies decided to construct a totally new downtown in South Hibbing. Many buildings were being put up rapidly during this time, and the Androy hotel was one of the very first, which began construction in 1919.1
It was named after Dr. Howard R. Weirick, one of the first exceptional doctors in Hibbing. In the early 1900s, he ran a large private practice and also served as village President for 5 terms. He is known for saving the city from an epidemic when he discovered that the city water was unclean and poisoning the residents. He also recommended building new wells farther south, some of which are still in use today.2
A lot of things have changed in the years that have passed. When it was first built, it had street car tracks running down the middle of it. When automobiles became more common in the 1940s, the tracks came out. Another change is the consolidation of businesses. Many smaller businesses would combine into one building, whereas conversely, larger department stores would break up into smaller businesses. Buildings have also been destroyed by fire or torn down. Although things have been altered, many of the same buildings are still up, and the street looks very much the same as it did in the 20s and 30s.3
Today one can see many different stores on Howard Street, such as Bender’s Shoes, Howard Street Booksellers, and The T-Shirt Factory. Restaurants like Sammy’s Pizza, The Brickyard, and Zimmy’s are located here also. There are various banks in operation as well, and even the Androy hotel is still standing.4
1 Interview with Erica Larson. 8 Dec. 2010.
2 Interview with Erica Larson.
3 Interview with Erica Larson.
4 Howard Street, Hibbing, MN.