The site for a new town to be called Bovey was chosen on land
owned by the Bovey Townsite Company near the north end of
Trout Lake. In April of 1904, surveyors were sent in to
lay out the streets and the lots. According to Minnesota
state laws, the procedure for starting a new town required the
filing with the county of plat, which delineated all streets
and alleys; the owners of the Townsite were obligated to
dedicate them to public use and ownership. All lots had
to be identified on the plat by block and section number.
Then, once there was adequate population, application could be
made to the county commissioners requesting incorporation and
they would make the necessary arrangements for a local
election to decide the matter. If the vote was
affirmative, the new community would become an incorporated
village subject to the municipal laws of Minnesota.
Elections could then be held for village officers, and they in
turn could establish local taxes, pass laws, and authorize
Bovey Townsite Company filed a plat in May 1904, and began
advertising lots for sale. In the Grand Rapids Herald
Review the ad read: Bovey! The New Town-this new town
is splendidly located overlooking one of the prettiest lakes
in Northern Minnesota. Surrounded with (and in huge
block letters) BEDS OF IRON ORE". The
promise was made that the railroad would soon reach the
vicinity, and the ad concluded: "Lots now ready
for sale-reasonable prices and terms-apply to E. J.
Longyear-who has exclusive sale-Hibbing, Minnesota."
John C. Greenway and the Opening of the Western Mesabi, by
Donald L. Boese 1975.)
the years of Cleveland's second term, 1893-1897, people began
coming on to the Trout Lake country and settled farms.
There were no roads in those days and the farmer's had to hike
through the woods to Grand Rapids for their grocery
supplies. There were plenty of mining camps being built
around the area, but no one really thought about a creating a
village. It wasn't until 1902, after miners discovered
ore that the town site was finally platted. Since the Bovey-Delatre Lumber
Company had been logging here for perhaps fifteen or twenty
years, the town took its name and Bovey was formed. A mayor
and council were elected in 1903 and on May 17, 1904, Bovey
issued a petition for incorporation to the county board.
were no private homes in Bovey those first few years, only
large camps of men who were either logging or mining. Of
course, saloons were built overnight, and it's rumored that
there were more than twenty-six on main street at one time.