New Beginning for Bruce Mine in Chisholm

Updated: October 02, 2018 10:39 PM

Tuesday marked a new beginning for the Bruce Mine in Chisholm. Volunteers from the Chisholm Beautification Association, plus many community members, officially broke ground on the Bruce Mine Park.

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You've probably driven by the old headframe countless times. It sits near the Mesabi Trail, off Highway 169 on the east side of Chisholm. Although it reaches high into the sky, it represents the industry's past underground mining.

The headframe is what lowered miners into the mine, and brought ore up, explained David Pessenda, Vice-Chair of the association. "What's unique about the Bruce Mine, is that it's only 300 feet deep. It was very wet ore, with 30% moisture, so in order to ship it, they had to install a sintering plant. There, they heated it and created clinkers," he told us.

Pessenda said the mine was active for about 20 years, closing in 1948. The headframe was listed on the national registry of historic places in 1978. But it's not very accessible.

That's why he and a group have been working on this park for about six years.  Tuesday was golden shovel time. Work is beginning to create a road and parking lot. Eventually they want to do more improvements.

It's about preserving the heritage of the the Range, and the sacrifice of those immigrant miners who developed the area. It is personal to Pessenda. "My grandfather came here when he was 13 years old, basically, to work in the mines. Because it was a future for him."

Andrea Wedul, a landscape architect, said, "What we can do, is tell people about what was there. Show them some different interpretive things and express what the site was. It's about teaching history, and understanding it."

If you'd like to donate to the next phases of the project:

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