The Cuyuna Iron Mining Range is a former North American mining district located about 90 miles (145 km) west of Duluth in Central Minnesota. The district is the furthest south and west of the three Minnesota iron ranges (Vermillion, Mesabi, and Cuyuna). It was a strategic supplier of iron ores with the qualities needed by North American steel mills in two world wars. After the rapid decline of mining in the Cuyuna Range during late 1960s; however, much of the mining infrastructure was abandoned. A landscape of former mine communities and scenic lakes where mine pits once were located now remains, but unlike Minnesota’s other two major iron mining ranges, very little has been done identify and promote features of the Cuyuna’s mining heritage to a wider audience. This paper examines the surviving features of the Cuyuna Iron Range that made this district important. It reports findings from surveys of seven iron mining communities which aimed to broaden the understanding of important local sites. The data generated from this effort are being used to inform plans for cultural tourism focused on the iron mining heritage of the Cuyuna Iron Range.
Sutherland, F. (2015). Community-driven mining heritage in the Cuyuna Iron Mining District: Past, present, and future projects. The Extractive Industries and Society, 2, 519–530. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2015.04.003