'Mesabi Pioneers' Author Shares Iron Range History Through Novel

Briggs LeSavage

October 05, 2014 10:28 PM

The Author of "Mesabi Pioneers" made a stop at Fitger's in Duluth on Sunday to sign copies of his novel that depicts the history of the Iron Range through the unfinished story of an Eveleth man's love for Northwestern Minnesota. 

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Jeffrey Smith said he was hired to finish the book after Russel Hill, its original author, left behind nearly five chapters when he passed away about 40 years ago. 

Smith said he has always been interested in telling the story of people who got their hands dirty building things, so this project was one he was excited to take on. 

"I became instantly enamored with the idea of writing a story about people who came from many different places and came to a place that was so cold and forbidding and built towns and villages out of nothing," Smith said. 

This novel is the story of a Finnish man who was hired to build a town where they began digging for iron ore that today is known as Mountain Iron. 

"The story of this is really a story of America's entry into the Industrial Revolution because without the iron ore from the Mesabi Range, America would not have become the industrial giant that it became in the 20th century," Smith said. 

This project was funded through an online Kickstarter campaign. The book will be officially launched in partnership with the Virginia area Historical Society on Tuesday at the B'nai Abraham Museum and Cultural Center in Virginia. 


Briggs LeSavage

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