John Baeten

John Baeten (Ph.D. candidate, IHA) has received a research grant from the Mining History Association to study the industrial heritage of the Mesabi Iron Range of Northern Minnesota. Baeten’s research project investigates the historic context of low-grade iron ore mining and processing in the Mesabi Range through the lens of industrial heritage and environmental history. His project will consist of  both archival and field research. While in the field he will be conducting a driving and pedestrian survey of the western Mesabi Range, documenting the historical footprints of iron ore “beneficiation” plants that produced both “washed ores” and the more familiar taconite, concentrated iron ore pellets, before shipment to the steel mills of the Great Lakes and beyond. The landscape he is investigating has undergone extensive abandonment and scrapping. This project hopes to connect the stories of direct shipping iron ores to taconite by exploring how the development of washable iron ores in the Mesabi Range helped pave the way for the eventual success of the taconite industry.


Comments Closed