2008 Mining History Association Field Trip

 

Vermilion Iron Range, Pioneer Mine, Ely, Minnesota

June 15, 2008

Hosts: Staff of the Soudan Underground Mine State Park,

Volunteers of the Ely-Winton Historical Society, and

 Lawrence Sommers

 

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Pioneer Shaft, Ely, MN, last operated by U. S. Steel, was in production from 1888 to 1967.  At its peak it produced 1 million tons of iron ore per year with a 600 man workforce.

Shaft station at the surface.  The inclined shaft in the footwall followed the dip of the ore.  The Pioneer Mine is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

MHAers peering down the shaft.  The guide rails and timbers are still in place.

 

Turntable at the shaft station allowed mine cars to be repositioned.

Diagram of the block caving system used in the final days of the Pioneer Mine.

Sub-level map shows workings and ore types 100 feet above the 17th level of the Pioneer Mine.

 

These vandalized cases once contained mine models composed of horizontal glass plates each showing a map of a mine level.

The stack of the powerhouse was built in 1902.  The steam hoisting was converted to electricity in 1927.



Photo Credits: Eric Nystrom

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