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The History and Significance of this Beautiful Old Structure

( Excerpted from the Missabe Railroad Historical Society Publication "Ore Extra " Spring 2003)


                                                                The Mitchell Engine House and Machine Shop was built by the Duluth, Missabe, and Northern Railroad 

                                                                The DM&N was owned by US which also owned the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range railroad.The two railroads 
                                                                merged in 1938 under the DM&IR name. The following description is from a Missabe Railroad Historical Society
                                                                publication and was written by Daniel Lynch.“The yards were spectacular considering the fact that massive amounts 
                                                                of ore from the west, the north, and the northwest went through this point. Mitchell Yard was so extensive and 
                                                                the history so long that the facility had its own Location, really a self-contained village,complete with Hotel,Passenger 
                                                                Depot, Post Office, numerous private dwellings and water supply.Locations were common near mining areas. 
                                                                Mitchell Yard, located 2-1/2miles northeast of Hibbing’s post office served as the sole marshalling,or assembly yard 
                                                                on the central Mesabi  Iron Range from approximately 1900 to1960. The area served an alphabet soup of railways: 
                                                                the  DM&N, OIM, DM&IR, and the GN. It was here that the ore trains from the Hull-Rust, the Nassau, Albany, Laura, 
                                                                the two Webb’s, the Buffalo, the Susquehanna, the Nassau, Albany, Laura,  the two Webb’s, the Buffalo, the Susquehanna, 
                                                                the Boeing, the two Alexandria’s, the Godfrey  (to name only a few) were assembled for their 100-mile journey south 
                                                                to the blast furnaces and stoves of the US Steel mill in Duluth or to the ore docks not very far away to transport to Gary, 
                                                                Pittsburgh, and points East.
                                                                But first the various trains had to be brought into the yards from the underground sites that surrounded the area and then 
                                                                broken up and then reassembled according to mine, mining company, destination, and so on.The locomotives pulling 
                                                                the massive loads also had to be watered, coaled and sanded. Since this yard handled so much traffic, including commercial 
                                                                business year-round, it had to accommodate the constant repair of these massive steel beasts as well.” 
                                                                                                ( Excerpted from the Spring 1989 issue of the "Ore Extra " )
                                                                five hundred yards down the track towards Wilpen stood Emmert Tower at the junction of the east-west Great Northern
                                                                mainline. The tower was a two story building in which a switchman controlled the traffic thru this junction.  A typical day 
                                                                would find Great Northern empties going east and returning with loads headed for the staging yard in Kelly Lake.
                                                                A DM&IR Yellowstone originating at the Hull-Rust yards, would come up the Great Northern mainline thru Hibbing
                                                                and be switched over to the DM&IR  trackage right under Emmert Tower on it's way to Proctor or Two Harbors.. 


Here is a presentation done in 2011 as a class project by University of Minnesota architecture student, Travis Herr


© David L. Aho 2012

Dave is a member of the Hibbing Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society and is a City of Hibbing Heritage Preservation Commission board member.

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Until his tragic death, three-time Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna was a strong advocate for the poor.

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