Black and white photograph of Leonidas Merritt, c.1919.

Leonidas Merritt, Duluth

Leonidas Merritt, c.1919.

The Opening of the Mesabi Iron Range

In the 1880s, several members of the Lewis H. Merritt family discovered hematite on the Mesabi Range. This led to industrial development in northeastern Minnesota and the growth of the Lake Superior iron industry.

Color image of burling and surface texture area of the Faribault Woolen Mills Company, 2011.

Burling and surface texture area

Burling and surface texture area of the Faribault Woolen Mills Company, 2011. Photograph by Elizabeth A. Gales.

Color image of spinning frame and roving areas of the Faribault Woolen Mills Company, 2011.

Spinning frame and roving areas

Spinning frame and roving areas of the Faribault Woolen Mills Company, 2011. Photograph by Elizabeth A. Gales.

Color image of north and east façades, of Faribault Woolen Mill Company, 2011.

North and east façades

North and east façades, of Faribault Woolen Mill Company, 2011. Photograph by Elizabeth A. Gales.

Color image of north and west façades of Faribault Woolen Mill with Cannon River in the foreground, 2011.

North and west façades

North and west façades of Faribault Woolen Mill with Cannon River in the foreground, 2011. Photograph by Elizabeth A. Gales.

The Merritt Family and the Mesabi Iron Range

The discovery of iron ore on the Mesabi Range can hardly be credited to one person. In 1890, however, it was the family of Lewis Merritt that discovered merchantable ore and opened the Mesabi to industry. Within three years, they owned several mines and had built a railroad leading to immense ore docks in Duluth. On the cusp of controlling a mining empire in northern Minnesota, they lost everything to business titan John D. Rockefeller.

Color image of pure wool blanket manufactured by Faribault Woolen Mill Company, 1992.

Faribault Woolen Mill blanket

Pure wool blanket manufactured by Faribault Woolen Mill Company, 1992.

Color image of Faribo brand wool blanket in its original box, woven by Faribault Woolen Mills, 1970.

Faribo brand blanket and box

Faribo brand wool blanket in its original box, woven by Faribault Woolen Mills, 1970.

Color image if Faribault Woolen Mill Company textile sample book, c.1935.

Cloth sales sample

Faribault Woolen Mill Company textile sample book, c.1935.

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