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From Ore to Steel: New exhibit highlights iron mining history

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CHISHOLM, MN -- The Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm is jam-packed with history.
Now, a new exhibit takes visitors on the journey from the ore beneath us to the steel we use every day.

“Iron Mining starts out with geology. It starts out with the rock that’s here,” said Carol Borich, with the Museum of Mining.

It’s a process some are familiar with, but Borich is hoping a new exhibit will tell the story step by step.

"You know, we have visitors from all over the country, and all over the world actually, and when they arrive, they're here because we're an iron mining area but there was nothing in the museum to really explain the process we go through to go from ore to steel," said Borich.

From the earliest explorers to the discovery of ore, the exhibit allows a trip through time.

“They started out with this early technology of measuring by hand and surveying equipment, but they very quickly got modernized,” said Borich.

Kelsey Johnson is president of the Iron Mining Association. She said it's important for people to connect the dots.

“It’s telling the story of how we get the products that make modern life so wonderful. Including our cars, refrigerators, our microwaves.”

Johnson said this exhibit will give people the chance to dig into the impact of the Iron Range and its mining history.

“I hope they can see the evolution of the industry over the course of time. I mean, we’ve seen this since 1884 to today," said Johnson. "In every way, shape, and form this industry is constantly innovating and it’s constantly coming up with new ways to make a better product.”

After years of work on the exhibit, Borich looks forward to sharing what she’s learned about the place she calls home.

“I think I have a secret rockhound personality that’s lurking below the surface that I didn’t know about until now!”

The Minnesota Museum of Mining is open through the middle of September, seven days a week.

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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