The Cuyuna Range
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
N 46° 28.420 W 093° 53.961
15T E 430958 N 5147070
Quick Description: The Cuyuna Range was named for entrepreneur Cuyler Adams and his faithful dog, Una. The range lies at the westernmost edge of a ring of iron ore that circles Lake Superior.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 11:53:46 AM
Waymark Code: WM3FYK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member KC0GRN
Views: 66

Long Description:
The smallest of Minnesota's three northern iron ranges, the Cuyuna was also the last to be opened. By the time ore was shipped from the first Cuyuna mine to Duluth in 1911, Minnesota had already become the leading iron ore producer in the country.

In many ways, this range differs from Minnesota's other two great ranges. Here the ore quality varies, some is soft like that scooped from the Mesabi's open-pit mines, some is hard like the ore drilled in the Vermillion's underground mines. The Cuyuna Range is also rich in manganese, an ore at first avoided by miners and later valued for steel production. When World War I cut off U.S. imports of manganese, demand for Cuyuna ore soared. In 1918, one of the Cuyuna's peak years, 27 mines produced nearly 2.5 million tons of ore.

Another difference in the Cuyuna's story can be found in its settlement. Many towns, like Brainerd and Aitkins, were well established before the ore was discovered nearby. Other towns like Crosby and Ironton sprang up when mining began. This meant that vast tracts of land were difficult for developers to obtain. So the Cuyuna Range remained in the hands of smaller, independent mining companies, not the large, consolidated mining operations that dominated the other ranges.

Because much of the Cuyuna's ore lay under lakes and bogs, early attempts to mine it had met with failures as shafts filled with water. Indeed, the 1924 Milford mine disaster was the worst in Minnesota mining history. But far-sighted businessmen like Adams and George Crosby persisted, turning the Cuyuna Range into an important supplier of iron ore for the steel industry that fueled the nation's growth. Mining on the Cuyuna Range ceased in the 1970s.
Marker Type:: City

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