postcard photograph showing Barn Bluff limestone formation

Whitney View

This c. 1860 photo shows the west face of Barn Bluff as viewed from the Wisconsin shore of the Mississippi River. Much of the lower portion of the bluff was removed in 1960 for construction of a highway bridge.

Barn Bluff

Roughly ten thousand years ago, raging glacial meltwaters created the broad valley of the Upper Mississippi River that we know today. They also helped form one of the river’s most famous and significant landmarks: Barn Bluff.

portrait photograph of Judge Miles Lord

Portrait of Judge Miles Lord

Portrait of Judge Miles Lord, October 16, 1968.

aerial view of Reserve Mining Company village

Reserve Mining Company Village, View of Silver Bay

Reserve Mining Company Village, View of Silver Bay, c.1960.

photograph of mining plant and harbor

View from the north hillside showing the E.W. Davis Works of the Reserve Mining Company and the harbor

View from the north hillside showing the E.W. Davis Works of the Reserve Mining Company and the harbor, c.1965.

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.

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