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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 public improvements.

The 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."

(From: John C. Greenway and the Opening of the Western Mesabi, by Donald L. Boese 1975.)



During 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.

There 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.



 © City of Bovey, Minnesota