Robert Allen Zimmerman was born in Duluth, Minnesota, but spent his formative years 70 miles away in the small mining town of Hibbing. The son of an appliance salesman, this aspiring musician relocated to Minneapolis when he was 18, and then to New York City, where he entered the folk scene as Bob Dylan and earn the moniker “spokesperson of a generation” before recording “Like a Rolling Stone,” widely regarded as one of the greatest rock-‘n’-roll songs of all time.
The relationship between Dylan and his hometown has been somewhat strenuous. Dylan found the town too constraining and conservative and has made little mention of his time in Hibbing. Indeed, early in his career, he claimed to be from any number of places, including Colorado, Illinois, and North Dakota.
Conversely, during his early stardom, most Hibbingites thought his success was undeserved on account of his nasally singing voice and confounding lyrics. But these days, Dylan gets a little more recognition in Hibbing, with the high school and library creating small exhibits of his life and career.
Even Dylan’s childhood home has received attention, a superfan having purchased it with plans of restoration. This is the same house where Dylan learned to play piano and guitar and kickstarted his musical career by performing in a high school rock band. As such, it’s a much-see for any hardcore American folkie.
The only specific indication that this was Dylan’s house is a plaque on the exterior. The interior is not publically accessible, but the owner occasionally gives private tours. The owner has acquired some of the family’s original furniture as working to restore the interior to something 1950s Bob Dylan would have known.
In the rec room, the owner has created a small museum with displays of old concert posters, photographs, and song lyrics handwritten by Dylan himself. Look for the place on the wall where young Bob carved his name, but remember his surname at the time was different.
Know Before You Go
The owner posts a lawn sign outside the house if tours are available for the day. As the owner lives in Hibbing, getting to the house is generally no problem.
The owner requests that visitors do not take photos of the interior, per the Zimmerman family's privacy.