A piece of drill core used by E. J. Longyear near Mesabi station, ca. 1890. The piece measures approximately two and a half inches long and about one and an eighth inches in diameter.

Drill core

A piece of drill core used by E. J. Longyear near Mesabi station, ca. 1890. The piece measures approximately two and a half inches long and about one and an eighth inches in diameter.

Northshore Mining, formerly Reserve Mining, is located in both Babbitt and Silver Bay.  The processing plant is located in Silver Bay. In this picture, the plant is visible along with a placard describing the taconite beneficiation process. Photo by Tony Webster, March 10, 2018. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Northshore Mining Taconite Plant in Silver Bay

Northshore Mining, formerly Reserve Mining, is located in both Babbitt and Silver Bay. The processing plant is located in Silver Bay. In this picture, the plant is visible along with a placard describing the taconite beneficiation process. Photo by Tony Webster, March 10, 2018. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Taconite pellets, ca. 1950.

Taconite pellets

Taconite pellets, ca. 1950.

Trout Lake Concentrator,  Oliver Iron Mining Company, ca. 1940. Photo by Zweifel-Roleff Studio.

Trout Lake Concentrator

Trout Lake Concentrator, Oliver Iron Mining Company, ca. 1940. Photo by Zweifel-Roleff Studio.

Locomotive that hauled the first car of iron ore to the Duluth docks, 1934.

Iron-ore locomotive

Locomotive that hauled the first car of iron ore to the Duluth docks, 1934.

First mine on the Mesabi Range, near Mountain Iron, ca. 1892.

First mine on the Mesabi Range

First mine on the Mesabi Range, near Mountain Iron, ca. 1892.

Underground mining on the Mesabi Range, 1906. Photo by Underwood & Underwood.

Underground mining on the Mesabi Range

Underground mining on the Mesabi Range, 1906. Photo by Underwood & Underwood.

Mining townsite one mile east of Biwabik (St. Louis County), 1892.

Mining townsite near Biwabik

Mining townsite one mile east of Biwabik (St. Louis County), 1892.

The Hull-Rust-Mahoning mine in Hibbing, Minnesota, is the largest open-pit iron mine in Minnesota. As of 2020, material is still mined from the complex by Hibbing Taconite, or HibTac. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Chipcity, August 7, 2010. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Hull-Rust-Mahoning open pit mine

The Hull-Rust-Mahoning mine in Hibbing, Minnesota, is the largest open-pit iron mine in Minnesota. As of 2020, material is still mined from the complex by Hibbing Taconite, or HibTac. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Chipcity, August 7, 2010. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Mesabi Iron Range

The Mesabi Iron Range wasn’t the first iron range to be mined in Minnesota, but it has arguably been the most prolific. Since the 1890s, the Mesabi has produced iron ore that boosted the national economy, contributed to the Allied victory in World War II, and cultivated a multiethnic regional culture in northeast Minnesota.

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