Photo a Day Challenge

Soudan Mine

It Was A Very Good Year

It Was A Very Good Year

In 1963 US Steel donated the Soudan to the state of Minnesota and the 1100 acre property, including the mine, became a state park.


Like A Rolling Stone

Like A Rolling Stone

The ore left the crusher house to be conveyed down into railroad cars below.


Crossroads

Crossroads

On the surface the ore was conveyed by rail to a crossroad where it entered a crusher house to be broken into smaller pieces for the steel plants.


Wherewithall

Wherewithall

The headframe provides the wherewithal to bring the ore up to the surface.


These Were The Days of Our Lives

These Were the Days of Our Lives

Other ethnic groups joined the original Cornish miners when the Soudan went underground where these miners spent most of their working lives.  Our guide explained that miners were partnered with others of different ethnicities to prevent them from scheming for better working conditions.


Sixteen Tons

Sixteen Tons

Mechanized loaders and electricity replaced mules, manpower and candles to convey rock and ore via rail carts.


My Traveling Star

My Traveling Star

Our guide shut off the electric lights to demonstrate total darkness and then the light available to the early miners.


Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Don't Worry, Be Happy

After being warned about 12000 bats living in stopes and drifts and the cold air, we survived the teeth-rattling ride in the 3rd cage down to the 27th level.   Two-thousand-three-hundred forty-one feet below the earth’s surface,  no natural light, and a single main shaft operated by eighty-five year old equipment our only link to the surface . . . what’s to worry?


Dizzy

Dizzy

As the miners angled down toward the vein, they created deadly overhanging rock shelves above them which frequently collapsed upon them.  At the turn of the century the Soudan grew into an underground mine which culminated at 2,341 feet at level 27 in l962.  The headframe tower at left contains a hoist mechanism that drops three cages down to level 27 at dizzying, teeth-rattling speeds (We know as we experienced it on our tour).  The building at right houses the engine that powers the hoist.


You’re So Vain (vein)

You're So Vein

The Soudan in the Vermillion Iron Range was the first iron ore mine in Minnesota.  In the 1880s Cornish miners dug pits with shovels, hand drills and blasting powder.  Hand held star bits were hit with hammers to create holes which were filled with explosives as the miners angled down toward the veins of Iron.