Old Babbitt - Babbitt, MN
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member wildernessmama
N 47° 42.840 W 091° 57.105
15T E 578625 N 5285045
Quick Description: This historical marker tells the story of the original Babbitt and its mining background.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 12/19/2014 3:58:09 AM
Waymark Code: WMN3CX
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
This historical marker tells the story of the original Babbitt and its mining background. It is located at a little roadside park where a nice array of mining equipment is on display. The text reads:

In 1871, Peter Mitchell, a Michigan prospector, confirmed Minnesota’s first officially recorded discovery of iron ore near Babbitt’s Birch Lake, and sank the first test pit on the Mesabi Range. Unlike the high-grade ore later found at other sites, Mitchell’s find was taconite, a low-grade magnetic ore.

In 1919, the Mesabi Syndicate began processing the taconite, and established a town, originally called Argo. It was renamed in honor of Judge Kurnal R. Babbitt, a Syndicate adviser. By 1921, Babbitt’s population numbered about 400. However, the mine failed to produce the grade of ore required by steelmakers and operations ended in 1921, leaving the town abandoned by all but a few caretaker families.

After 43 years of experimentation as the director of the University of Minnesota Mines Experiment Station and consultant to the Reserve project, Dr. E. W. Davis developed a process for concentrating and pelletizing taconite that proved economically feasible. In 1951, Reserve Mining Company, so named because taconite represented future resources, built the world’s first large-scale processing plant near the old minesite. Again, Old Babbitt provided housing until Reserve developed a permanent community for its employees at the present Babbitt location.
Marker Type:: City

Visit Instructions:
A photo of the 'Marker' or 'Plaque' is required to identify the location, plus a picture of the 'Historic Site'.
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