Portfolio > Mesabi

These photographs are from an ongoing project exploring the communities of the Mesabi Iron Range. The project began when the American steel industry, an industry with a history of boom and bust cycles, suffered its worst collapse. There are few photographs of despair and defeat. I quickly discovered that the people of the Mesabi Range are resilient, good humored and generous. In short, life goes on.
Although I have pursued other subjects I return to this one and always find fresh possibilities. From the beginning the scrappy, industrial beauty of this area comprised of forests, lakes, and mines captured my attention. There is an equally engaging beauty in the vigor and directness of people of the Iron Range.
My initial introduction to the Iron Range was a Fourth of July parade in Biwabik, Minnesota. My preconception of Rangers was that they were hardworking, durable north country people. That is certainly true but what I didn’t know was that they are dependably generous and embody an extraordinary joie de vivre. There is a very keen sense of history in the communities of the Mesabi Iron Range which describe themselves as having “built America”.

John, July 4th, Ely Lake, Minnesota 1999
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2012
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2014
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2014
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2014
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July 4th, Biwabik, Minnesota 2016
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2016
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2016
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2016
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2016
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July 4th, Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2017
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July 3rd, Gilbert, Minnesota 2017
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July 4th, Markham, Minnesota 2014
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Rocheleau Pit, Virginia, Minnesota 2107
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American Steel Rally, Virginia, Minnesota 2000
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Keewatin, Minnesota 2016
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Rocheleau Pit, Virginia, Minnesota 2107
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Fishermen's Point, Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota 2017
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Eveleth, Minnesota 2016
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Hibbing Park Cemetery, Hibbing, Minnesota 2016
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Gilbert, Minnesota 2016
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Iron Junction, Minnesota 2016
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Don's Kitchen, Eveleth, Minnesota 2003
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Servicemen's Club, Virginia, Minnesota 2016
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Mesaba Co-op Park, Chisholm, Minnesota
2014
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Lisa, Mott Pit, Mountain Iron, Minnesota 2016
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Margie's Roosevelt, Eveleth, Minnesota 2014
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Grant Ave., Eveleth, Minnesota 2014
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Veteran's Memorial, Chisholm, Minnesota 2014
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Big Stick Dance, Eveleth, Minnesota 1995
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Sawmill, Virginia, Minnesota 2014
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Nick, near Cusson, Minnesota 1996
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Christiansen Farm, Lakeland, Minnesota 1997
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John, Eveleth, Minnesota 2001
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Nicholas, former Mayor, Aurora, Minnesota 2004
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Joe's Place, Melrude, Minnesota 2017
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Fishermen's Point, Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota
2017
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Glen Location, Chisholm, Minnesota 2014
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Taconite Tailings, Forbes, Minnesota 1995
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Kotzy's Garden, Eveleth, Minnesota 2003
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Steve's Garden, Virginia, Minnesota 2012
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Paul and Timmy, Eveleth, Minnesota 1995
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2015
Paul and Jamie, Eveleth, Minnesota 1995
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Ceal Painting, Silver Bay, Minnesota  2003
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Nick and John, Eveleth, Minnesota 2001
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