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Date(s) - 10/15/2020 - 10/18/2020
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Mesabi Iron Range, MN

Duluth, Mountain Iron, Hibbing and Tower-Sudan, Minnesota

The Mesabi Iron Range is an elongate trend containing large deposits of iron ore, and the largest of four major iron ranges in the region known as the Iron Range of Minnesota. This is the chief iron ore mining district in the United States.

Sioux, Chippewa, fur traders, lumberman, gold miners, railroad, and iron miners all played a part in the history of the area, but it was IRON MINING that established Soudan and Tower as the first villages north of Duluth.

Our first day begins with a tour of the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth. This Historic Congdon Estate is a 39-room, 20,000 square foot mansion and is a crowning example of design and craftmanship of the Midwest in the early 20th century.

The day continues at the Minnesota Discovery Center. The Discovery Center has many interesting and educational exhibits relating to the mining industry. Many of the open pit mines on the Iron Range today began as underground mines. With candles for light, miners shoveled iron ore into small tram cars that were then pushed by mules to the nearest shaft where the ore was raised to the surface. From underground to open pit mining, the outer layers of earth were blasted away to reach the ore. The unwanted rocks, called tailings, were removed and placed in piles creating the tall hills seen along the highway and in the horizon of the Iron Range. After collecting the iron ore, the miners dumped the iron ore onto trains that were heading to the Lake Superior ports. At the ports, the iron ore was loaded onto ships going to Eastern United States steel mills. Featured in the Discovery Center is a model of the William A. Irvin, which hauled iron ore and coal to the Great Lakes ports for over 40 years. Dinner this evening will be at Valentini’s Restaurant in Chisholm.

A sweet way to start our Friday is at the Canelake’s Candy store. The owners are third generation candy makers who use only the finest chocolate, cream and butter. The same recipes used in making candy the old-fashioned way, in small batches cooked in copper kettles, is how the family operates today.

The International Wolf Center in Ely is our next stop. The center is in the heart of the largest wolf population in the lower 48 states and maintains a 1.25-acre live wolf exhibit with new pups being introduced to the pack every four years. The International Wolf Center envisions a world in which populations of wolves thrive well distributed in many parts of their native range. The Center provides useful scientific information and learning opportunities and supports well-informed dialogue about management of wolf/human conflict. As a result, humans adopt an attitude of respect toward wolves. In day-to-day life, humans accept coexistence with wolves.

An amazing guided tour of the Soudan Under Ground Mine is next on our agenda. We’ll be able to experience the life of a miner as we travel underground to a former working area. We’ll gain insight into the working conditions of the miners and their remarkable mining methods.

Dinner and a short time for gaming entertainment this evening will be at the Fortune Bay Casino.

Saturday morning, we will continue along the Mesabi Iron Range and make our way to the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine Overlook where we view the world’s largest open pit mine. It is 8.1 miles long and three miles wide. The mine view is a must-see on the Iron Range. We’ll glimpse twostory haul trucks, super-sized electric shovels and more as they operate in the Hibbing Taconite’s mining operations. Friendly volunteers answer questions and point out what’s happening within the mine.

An appropriate stop to make is at the Hibbing Greyhound Bus Museum. Hibbing is recognized as the birthplace of the bus industry in the United States. To start the tour, we’ll pass through a tunnel that comes alive with auto sounds of 1914 and the Hupmobile that could not be sold. The story continues with the men and machines that created Greyhound Bus Lines which grew to be the largest bus company in the world.

A unique and unforgettable stop will be the Hibbing High School. You must see it to believe it. The artwork and brass handrails that greet us once inside this majestic building lead us to a multi-faceted building that serves as a high school and a community treasure. The 1,800 seat auditorium modeled after the Capital Theater in New York City is a site rivaled by no other. The pride in every aspect of the school is evident by the care given it from the staff, students and community. The school was built in 1924 and is hailed as the “Richest Gem in Minnesota’s Educational Crown.”

This tour is packed full of the history of Minnesota and of an area you probably won’t travel to by car. The area is so rich in history, nature and economical awareness it would be a shame to miss it.

COST PER PERSON: Double ………$755.00 Triple ……..$690.00 Quad ………..$660.00 Single …….$935.00

Tour includes: Deluxe motorcoach transportation, three nights’ accommodations, three breakfasts and six lunch or dinners and all attractions and services scheduled.

Departure time from Medford 8:00 a.m.

Approximate return time 5:30 p.m.