photograph of Reserve Mining Company train

First train of taconite to Silver Bay, Reserve Mining Company

First train of taconite to Silver Bay, Reserve Mining Company, 1955.

United States of America v. Reserve Mining Company

After the discovery of taconite in the late nineteenth century, scientists struggled to find ways to extract iron ore from this sedimentary rock, which contains 25 to 30 percent iron. The process that was eventually developed involves crushing the hard rock into a powder-like consistency. The iron ore is then removed with magnets and turned into pellets.

City Hall detail, 1904

City Hall detail, 1904

This image shows up close detail of the damage done to the City Hall. In the center can be seen the rows of chairs dropped with the second story which remained standing in their rows.

Street scene, 1904

Street scene, 1904

This image shows Frank Wostrel's hardware store, left side of the image, where the first floor exploded during the cyclone, dropping the second level to the ground. Part of the first floor walls can be seen just to the left of the building.

Sherman House Hotel, 1904

Sherman House Hotel, 1904

This image shows the front of the Sherman House Hotel after the storm. It is the building in the center, next to the large tree. The photo shows the entire front of the building laying in the street in the foreground. Witness accounts say nothing inside the building was moved.

Sherman House Hotel

Sherman House Hotel

Sherman House, Jos. (Joseph) and Albert Miller, Prop. Waconia, Minnesota. [This photo was taken just a few years before the cyclone in the 1890s].

The Waconia Cyclone, August 20, 1904

On August 20, 1904, a large cyclone hit the City of Waconia, changing the face of the city forever.

photograph of several individuals standing in front of a field of young trees

Alvin C. Rose "tree claim," Deuel County, South Dakota.

Estelline, Dakota Territory. Members of the Andrew F. Rose family gatherered on the Alvin C. Rose farm, early 1880s.

photograph depicting a road through a grove of trees

A good tree claim in Lyon County

A good tree claim in Lyon County, c. 1900.

The Timber Culture Act of 1873

When Congress enacted the Timber Culture Act of 1873, many hoped that giving settlers deed to public lands in return for growing trees would reshape the environment of the West. However, legal loopholes meant that most of the tree claims filed under the Timber Culture Act were never planted with trees. Fraudulent claims and wild speculation meant that the act was repealed less than twenty years after it was enacted.

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