Kelly Lake near Hibbing in Saint Louis County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Underground Mining in the Hibbing Area
It quickly became clear that open pit mining was more suited to the flat dipping and shallow iron ores on the Mesabi Range. Most of the initial underground operations advanced into open pit mines, which were less costly and didn't require the highly experience workers. Even so a number of underground mines continued operating well beyond the 1920's.
Because of the unstable ground conditions the typical 'square set' timbering was found to be very dangerous and the engineers quickly adopted the 'slicing' and 'top level caving' mining methods. These required timbering and planking over the entire mine roof. Despite many underground safety improvements, over the years, many stories still exist of the dangerous working conditions that the miners encountered, where they were rumored to have seen the 'devil
It was reported that following the spread of such rumors Captain Pengilly, a prominent mine boss, told his miners that "the devil was dead, and that, had he seen the gentleman down there, he would have assigned him a number and put him to work".
The underground mine car on display here (and two at Hibbing Taconite Company) were uncovered in 1985 during taconite mining operations in the old Warren Mine area approximately 4 miles west of here near Leetonia. These hand pushed cars were manufactured in the 1920's.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1895.
Location. 47° 26.833′ N, 92° 56.778′ W. Marker is near Hibbing, Minnesota, in Saint Louis County. It is in Kelly Lake. Marker can be reached from Greyhound Boulevard/3rd Avenue East, on the left when traveling north. Marker is at the Hull-Rust Mahoning Mine, beyond the mine visitor center/observation building; accessible only when the center is open. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hibbing MN 55746, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 170 & 240 Ton Production Trucks (within shouting distance of this marker); Mining Haul Truck Engine Module (within shouting P & H 2300 Production Shovel Bucket (within shouting distance of this marker); Hull-Rust Mahoning Mine Pit Overlook (within shouting distance of this marker); Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); Hill of Three Waters or the Triple Divide (within shouting distance of this marker); Marion 1150 Dragline Bucket (within shouting distance of this marker); Haulpak Production Truck Tires (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hibbing.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2008, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 2,975 times since then and 123 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 4, 2008, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.