Virginia is a city in St. Louis County, Minnesota, United States, on the Mesabi Iron Range. Virginia prospered as an iron mining community, and is considered the commercial center of the Mesabi Range, serving as a shopping, industrial, educational, and medical hub for the surrounding communities. The population was 8,712 at the 2010 census.Virginia was laid out in 1892, and named after Virginia, the native state of a large share of the lumbermen in the area at that time. A post office has been in operation at Virginia since 1893. Virginia was incorporated in February 1895. It was a logging community first, then it was developed as an iron mining community. The mines in the Virginia area were prosperous and setting new records consistently by the late 1890s.
The main population boom began after mining camps were built for entrepreneurs and financiers including Andrew Carnegie, Leonidas Merritt, Jay Cooke, John D. Rockefeller, William J. Olcott, James J. Hill, and others. With the use of diamond drills, mules, and a massive labor force, the mines were able to move millions of tons per year and ship them out of the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, as well as Two Harbors. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.18 square miles (49.68 km2); 18.85 square miles (48.82 km2) is land and 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2) is water.Lakes in Virginia include Silver Lake and Bailey Lake. The area was originally named Qeechaquepagem by an Ojibwe tribe, which roughly means “lake of the north birds”.
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