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Edmund Longyear

Title: Letter From Longyear to His Uncle
Type: Letter
Date: May 24, 1890
Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Description: Longyear wrote this letter informing his uncle of his activities on the Mesaba Range.


Mesaba, St. Louis Co., Minnesota
May 24, 1890

J.M. Longyear, Esq.,
Esquire, a title of respect. Marquette, Michigan.

Dear Sir: -

I arrived on the range 22nd inst. Iron Range on the 22nd of the current month. and am boarding for the present together with my party at a boarding house Place that provides rooms for rent and meals. near SE corner, Sec. 20, where the Stone Mining Co., are exploring just west of the "red pan cut." The NW corner of Sec. 34 is in a swamp which extends 40 paces SE from the corner. Thence the surface rises rapidly to the SE to the center of the forty Forty-acre plot of land. where it is 50 ft. higher than at the corner. I deem it best to put down the hole Dug in the ground to test for iron ore. 40 paces SE of the corner at the edge of the swamp. Although it is very near the line of the property, yet it will show whether there is a flat bed of ore Horizontal deposit of iron ore. underlying the magnetic slates A layer of the mineral slate. just as well as a more expensive hole further south, and we can get through more or the formation at this point. I am cutting a road Clearing a road to transport supplies and equipment to the site. now from Okwamin (now known as "Allen") to the location, about one mile. The machinery and outfit have not yet arrived. I look for it every day.

Everybody on the range seems to be working on the hypothesis Theory. of the ore lying in inclined beds Ore deposits that slant. 30° to 50° south and consider the magnetic slates as a "capping rock." Rock layer on top of the iron ore. I am laughed at some for looking for a vein so far south. They say that the "Vein" is located from Mallmann's work Area of another prospector. on 11 to the red pan cut without doubt and that it cannot twist itself so as to get down into Sec. 34. If they only continue to think so and our theory of flat lying beds proves to be right, we shall have all the better chance of buying up property in the south part of the range before we let the facts be known. I have not told anyone the theory we are working on. I have heard of but one fact in support of the theory of inclined beds of ore: It is reported that Mallmann's shaft passed through lean ore Rock with little iron ore. striking clean ore Ore with few impurities. and that the contact dips 30° south. As soon as possible, I shall go over to his exploration and see for myself. I will keep you posted in regard to all the explorations about here as far as I can. I hear that Mallmann is 60 feet deep and working 18 men on two shafts and having assays Tests to determine the richness of an ore sample. made every day.

The Stone Mining Co., have just started in on Sec. 20 and are simply killing time now waiting for a boiler. Part of a steam engine. They are going to pump out an old shaft now some 40 feet deep and propose to sink it deeper. The old dump shows a small amount of good looking ore.

The county road commissioners were here yesterday and accepted the survey Planned location. for the new road from Embarrass Bridge to Birch Lake. They say the west position will be completed by July 1st and the Merritts. Seven brothers well-known on the Iron Range. See Leonidas Merrit. expect to have a diamond drill Drill that cuts a vertical core of earth showing the layers underground. in 59-14 by July 15.

Mesaba is a new station 100 paces north of the red pan cut. This will be my P.O. address.

Yours truly,
E.J. Longyear