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There the Reserve Mining Company finished building in 1956 huge installations costing hundreds of millions of dollars; a taconite processing plant and harbor facilities from which the finished taconite pellets are shipped to the steel mills. The taconite is brought to Silver Bay by rail from the company's mines in Babbitt, located in St. Louis County, some 20 miles south of Ely. Silver Bay and Babbitt were both incorporated as villages in 1956, and both places employ many Finns.

Taconite Harbor is in Cook County and lies about 20 miles north of Silver Bay. It, too, is on the shore of Lake Superior. It is a property of the Pickand-Mather Company, which owns the taconite mines at Hoyt Lake (St. Louis County). No processed taconite was shipped out of here before the end of 1956, but the facilities in construction were similar to those of Silver Bay. Here, too, many Finns are employed.

- Lake County population stood at 4,654 in the year 1900, then doubled within the next two decades, only to decrease somewhat subsequent to 1920. In 1900, there were only 77 first generation Finns in the entire county, but in 1910 the figure was 661, and in 1920 it stood at 761. After this date, the number of Finns has declined steadily: 467 in 1930; 378 in 1940; 310 in 1950. In Cook County, the Finnish population has been as follows: 7 persons in 1900; 46 in 1910; 55 in 1920; 94 in 1930; 48 in 1940; 37 in 1950.

Itasca, The County of a Thousand Lakes

In the same way that Lake and Cook counties to the east of St. Louis County, so Itasca to the west of it closely resembles `the biggest Finnish county in America.' In Itasca, too, vast stretches of wilderness awaited the Finnish pioneer. More than 1200 lakes reminded the Finns of home. Finally, even the Mesabi Iron Range extended into the county for some distance and gave the history of the Finns here the same kind of mining flavor and background encountered in St. Louis County.


About 10 miles west of Hibbing lies the mining village of Nashwauk, the first stopping place of the Finns into Itasca County. The name Nashwauk apparently comes from the Algonquin tribe and means `the land between.' Logging operations in the extensive forests brought the first, temporary influx of population in the 1880s. There was enough timber to extend operations up


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