I had to make a sample of Mine Songs for an upcoming press feature.

In this you can hear sounds from Duluth: the container at the old Duluth Works site (where US Steel was located), a distant train running from the CN docks to the Iron Range, the sound of cars on the aerial lift bridge (that allows laker ships to access the ore docks), and the engine of a BNSF train (which hauls to Superior, WI). Duluth was/is obviously very important to the iron ore/steel industry, even with the dissolution of the steel plant here.


I love exploring and it was a phenomenally beautiful evening in Superior in mid-December. Imagine all this metal (1000-foot lakers, conveyer bridges, docks, tracks) was flipped upward - the red contents of the pits now sit on the surface of the earth formed into structures and transportation that allow the creation of more pits.

In 1910, the world production of pig iron was 66.5 million tons. In 2012 1.1 billion. (Source: It requires 2 tons of ore to make a ton of steel. And a half ton of limestone. More info here.

For more about the Allouez docks, check out Substreet.


Duluth and the Iron Range have been economically connected since the beginning of the iron ore industry. Railways bring ore from the Mesabi range to Duluth, and limestone from Duluth ships to the iron ore plants. Limestone is used (as well as clay) as a binding agent to make taconite pellets. Until 2004, the rail was run by Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway. It was purchased by Canadian National (CN), but the DMIR logo still graces the sides of many cars. Have a look and listen to my early explorations of the railway and loading docks in Duluth.