Preserving the Reserve file: Mining town’s story is being toldThe Bay Area Historical Society in Silver Bay is celebrating the creation of its latest exhibit, “The Story of Reserve Mining.”
The Bay Area Historical Society in Silver Bay is celebrating the creation of its latest exhibit, “The Story of Reserve Mining.”
It will host a public reception from 5:30-8:30 p.m. March 23 in the Northshore Mining Company auditorium in the Office Building south of the stoplights at Highway 61 in Silver Bay. A short program, including the PowerPoint presentation “120 Years of Site History,” will begin at 6:30 pm. Former and current workers and area residents are encouraged to bring along photos, stories and memories to share in a casual atmosphere. Light refreshments will be served.
The exhibit captures the history of the production of taconite and the creation of a Silver Bay in the 1950s.
Using the society’s extensive collection of historical information, photographs, scrapbooks, and written and oral histories, Venture Exhibits and Joanne Sher, historical researcher and writer, and society members created the unique interpretive exhibit about the company that built a plant and town in the 1950s — Reserve Mining Company.
The permanent exhibit has four panels and can be assembled in a variety of configurations at any location. Flipbooks are used to create a level of interactivity and allow a greater amount of information to be presented.
The project has been supported and enhanced through long hours of assistance and oversight by various mining staff and community members. Individuals involved in the development of the town, the company’s operations, and environmental court cases, were still available for interviews and they provided first-person information for the project.
Additional Reserve Mining Company resource collections were found at the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center in Duluth and the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul. State archive hold the papers of individuals and organizations as well as the court records involved with the environmental disputes with Reserve Mining Company during the 1970s. The 1952 published reports of Pace Associates and Dr. E.W. Davis — regarding the activities of Reserve Mining and its plans for the development of taconite plants and town sites — have also provided historical context for the exhibit.
The Bay Area Historical Society was established in 1985 to preserve, record and interpret the social, industrial and political history of the mid-North Shore.
Funding for the Reserve project was provided by the society, Henry and Sarah Wheeler Historical Awareness Fund, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Lester and Margaret Ann Strand Memorials, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Minnesota Power Foundation, Robert A. Lee Estate, and the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society’s Grants-in-Aid Program.