Eveleth, MN isn’t on the radar for most hockey fans, or the hot vacation spot that online travel websites will be pushing deals for. Eveleth is up there, 3 hours north of Minneapolis. It’s not on the way to anywhere, unless you want to see where Christian hockey sticks were made (Warroad), or are into mining (a big industry around the Eveleth area)
I’m not trying to slight Eveleth (but I probably am, so I’m sorry to the residents), as I didn’t get a chance to explore the town much. But I was there for one reason, and one reason only. To visit the USA Hockey Hall of Fame.
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The hall was founded in 1973, and fell on some seriously hard times, to the point that a few years ago, they were thinking about shutting down. There has also been movements to move the hall to a more populated area. The hall remains in Eveleth, though, even though it could use a few more visitors through it’s doors. Right now, the hall is trying to fix the air conditioner it has limped along with since the building was built.
The hall was actually closed for the day (call ahead for the hours, since the winter and summer hours are quite different), but a phone call to the hall was enough for the nice people who run the place to open it’s doors for me.
When you walk into the hall, it doesn’t look like much. A lobby with a few hockey jerseys in it, a small gift shop, nothing much. But it opens up when you take the stairs to the first main floor.
First, those jerseys in the main lobby. One was the jersey Bobby Ryan wore when he scored the fastest hat trick in NHL history (3 goals in 2:21). The other was a Mike Modono jersey, on display with articles about him being the highest scoring US born player.
On to the hall. Meet Zamboni #4.
I’ve been around the first Zamboni before, and this one was just as cool. Built on the frame of an old Willy’s jeep, this one dates back to the early 1950s.
Beats the hell out of the old way of resurfacing the ice:
The hall had just finished putting up their Herb Brooks exhibit, and it was full of amazing memorabilia from his legendary career, and from the 1980 gold medal winning hockey team:
These are coats from the 1980 Olympics (I believe they were both worn by Brooks):
Photos of the team at the White House:
To save bandwidth for some of you, this all continues after the jump.