aerial photograph of taconite processing plant on Silver Bay

Aerial view of Reserve Mining Company's taconite processing plant, Silver Bay

Aerial view of Reserve Mining Company's taconite processing plant, Silver Bay, 1956.

aerial photograph of Mesabi Iron Company plant

The old Babbitt plant of the Mesabi Iron Company

The old Babbitt plant of the Mesabi Iron Company was enlarged and rebuilt for use as a test plant by Reserve Mining Company in 1951–1952. It operated from 1952–1957 producing taconite pellets.

photograph of a small pile of taconite pellets

Taconite Pellets

Taconite pellets, c.1950.

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.

Black and white photograph of Waconia City Hall after the storm, 1904.

City Hall after the storm

Up close detail of the damage done to the City Hall, 1904. 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

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, 1904. Part of the first floor walls can be seen just to the left of the building.

Black and white photograph of the Sherman House Hotel, 1904

Sherman House Hotel

The Sherman House Hotel after the storm, 1904. 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, Joseph and Albert Miller, Prop. Waconia, Minnesota, c.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.

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