20th Century, Exploration, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Mining, Minnesota

Cuyuna Range Named 1903

Kennedy-Mine

1903

“While surveying his land in the 1880s, Cuyler Adams noticed that the point of his compass was spinning. Over 20 years he explored the area for the underground metals that distracted his compass. He forms the Orelands Mining Company in 1903 and names the range by combining “Cuy” from Cuyler with “Una” after his pet St. Bernard.

The first ore is shipped from the Cuyuna Range in 1911. The 147,649-ton shipment to Duluth-Superior culminates years of searching, digging, flooding, and failing. More mines quickly open on the range, and immigrants from Finland, Italy, and Yugoslavia find themselves in new villages with names like Orelands, Klondike, Steelton, Ironton, Iron Hub, and Iron Mountain.” * 

What a shock it must have been when Mr Adams’ compass needle started spinning! Did his hair stand on end? Did he calmly and rationally start thinking of possible explanations? Thank you Lord, that this wonderfully odd day in the life of Cuyler Adams was part of Your plan for Minnesota! Thank you for the curiosity You implanted in this man to explore; to seek and find! How many lives were changed by this single moment of the “spinning compass”?

This leads me almost instantly into feelings of remorse for my personal lack of intuition and imagination of Your possible purposes for such odd moments of my life. How many times have You placed me into a potential moment of discovery, and my response is to blame the defective spinning compass in my hands? My rational mind is often the killer of opportunity! I find myself in analysis paralysis, instead of simply continuing the process of looking for answers like Cuyler! Will You forgive this blockage to Your eureka moments? 

This discovery acted as a catalyst for the movements of people and cultures from across the world to northern Minnesota. What was your purpose in this? Why is this ore important other than its obvious applications to industry? In any case, I thank You for using this valuable resource to facilitate the meetings and intermingling  of peoples from Finnish, Italian, Yugoslavian, and Native Minnesotan cultures! You provide us with innumerable introductions to those of other cultures, and yet You do not force our hand in how we respond! You are the perfect travel agent!

I say thanks this day for the blessings and benefits of iron ore, and any of its other common metallurgical applications! Good Father, what a great medium You allow your people to play with?! What a useful material to bless past, present, and future generations! 

Yet, as with any technology, it must be subject to self control. We used mountains of metal in World War I from this mine to assert our political will! We have beaten our plows into swords, and still we continue to do so! Will You forgive our defiant uses of natural resources? Will You help us learn to sidestep political manipulations into war? Will you forgive our resentment, hatred, and fear of others that germinates into the seeds of death? Will You mature our response to the spirits of accusation, provocation, and offense?

Will You also forgive our tragedies based on trust of our knowledge? We study and learn, which is good. But we often allow our knowledge to cloud our judgments! We do not retain a sense of scientific humility and curiosity. We often rely on our observations, and find that they are sadly based on a minuscule understanding of the natural world. For example,

“At the height of the mining, the Cuyuna Range was the location of the worst mining disaster in Minnesota, the Milford Mine disaster.[1] On February 5, 1924, a new tunnel was blasted too close to nearby Foley Lake, and water rushed in, killing 41 miners.” **

Will You forgive how we have hurt our fellow man, and Your world as a result of our miscalculations and arrogance? Lord have mercy! Will You remember our successes, our faithful and bold risks to grow and learn, and the ways we’ve sought to better the lives of others and ourselves? 

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyuna_Range

*** A very readable resource on Cuyuna with brief bios by author Dean Klinkenberg.

http://mississippivalleytraveler.com/cuyuna-iron-range/

**** A wonderful read on Mr. Adams! https://ipeopleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/1922-mining-engineer-cuyler-adams/

 

 

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19th Century, Business, Environment, Geology, History, Industry, Intercession, Mining, Minnesota, omnipresent history

Iron Industry Launch 1884

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1884

“With the state’s first shipment of ore from the Vermilion Range, Minnesota’s iron industry is launched. Within 20 years, new immigrants will mine from the region a great majority of the iron for the nation’s industrial boom.” *

Ore is moved by train to ports like Duluth. From there giant ships carry it to the blast furnaces of Ohio and Pennsylvania where it is melted and processed by the heat of burning coal from mines in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. The result is steel, which goes to factories in cities such as Detroit to become the rails of railroads, the skeletons of skyscrapers, and the chassis of cars. 

The growth of iron mining brings tens of thousands of new people to northeastern Minnesota. They come from almost every country in Europe and elsewhere, bringing different languages and cultures from places like Canada, Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Syria, Russia, and China. 

Father, we adore You! You have given us an earth full of blessings! We thank You for the gift of iron ore. We thank You for the impact of this gift on our state and peoples!

Father, we are full of bitter roots and rusty hearts! This blessing has been corroded by our mis-dealings. We are guilty of judging the owners of the steel business: Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller, etc. We have stolen and tainted the land of the individual, the Indian nations, our neighbor’s business, our state, and our nation. 

We have judged our fellow workers on the basis of his race or culture: Canadian, Welsh, Irish, Swedish, Finnish, Belgian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, Syrian, Russian, Chinese, and Native American! We have offenses based on interstate prejudices: Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Sioux, Dakota, Ojibway. 

Lord, will You have mercy on our humanity? Will You replace this heritage of curses with blessings for us? Will You reverse the curses against the land, and all the pathways it has travelled out this state through out the world? I want to pronounce the blessing of the Lord to every molecule of steel that has passed, is passing, or will pass from this state!  May You grant us humility, wisdom, and imagination to properly use the resources of this state! May the iron of Minnesota, regardless of its present use or form, ring with the unlimited, infinite blessings of its’ King! Hallelujah!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

 

 

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19th Century, Art, authors, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans

“Song of Hiawatha” Published

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November 10, 1855
“Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never visited Minnesota, but his epic poem The Song of Hiawatha immortalized the Minnesota forests, prairies, and waters he saw only in his imagination. Longfellow began Hiawatha on June 25, 1854, he completed it on March 29, 1855, and it was published November 10, 1855.” *
The famous story still attracts tourists from around the country to see, in the words of the poem,
“Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley.”

This poem could be revelatory of the best and worst aspects of pop culture…even if it was popular 160 years ago. A cynical synopsis? A man who never visited Minnesota or lived with the Ojibwe whose language he borrowed, wrote a pop lyric that morphed and mutated their culture with the East Coast Iroquois to the tune of the “Kalevela” of Finland?! Of course it became a smash hit, and the listeners accepted it as the truth!

I’m not a cynic, Jesus. So today I wish to focus on that which gives life in this poem by Longfellow. I want to practice seeing the potential in historical works, rather than judging their limitations according to the standards of the present.

Longfellow sought to learn real Indian languages, and wasn’t afraid to interact with real Indians. He invited Kahge-ga-gah-bowh, an Ojibwe Chief, to his home, and took the time to meet Blackhawk, Sac, and Fox Indians in Boston.

If the poet saw a connection between tribes of the East Coast of North America with those of the Midwest, can we forgive him? Artists are allowed to make connections where others do not see them. We can find fault in their “improper” labeling of a small branch of a larger concept, and stubbornly miss their heart.

As a drummer and percussionist, I seek to learn each new ethnic music from the ground up with great respect for its traditions. However, there is new life in breaking the rules once one knows them. If one hears a connection between Celtic music and samba, then merging them into a new style is natural.

Perhaps that is the explanation for Longfellow merging the sound and rhythms of Indians with the heartbeat of Finland? Maybe he borrowed an interesting “drumbeat” from Suomi poems to express what he felt about Native Americans? In any case:
“The Song of Hiawatha was written in trochaic tetrameter, the same meter as Kalevala, the Finnish epic compiled by Elias Lönnrot from fragments of folk poetry. Longfellow had learned some of the Finnish language while spending a summer in Sweden in 1835.” **

Father, will You bless Longfellow, Kahnge-ga-gah-bowh, and each Indian who shared his story? Will You continue to bless those who reach out to know a culture very different than their own? Will You honor those who see Your unyielding imagination expressed through all the families of nations?

Thank You for Longfellow’s example that we can create beauty beyond the confining aspects of our culture. Show us ways to “include, but not be limited to” the legalism of our traditions. Thank You, First Poet, for drawing the romance from hearts of stone! Thank You for the possibility of fusing peoples together when living under grace! May we never tire of creating, merging, or reaching to describe Your beauty mirrored in the faces of fellow humans! With this heart and mind, will You bless our state?

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** Calhoun, Charles C. (2004). Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life. Boston: Beacon Press.

 

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19th Century, Business, Culture, History, livestock, maps, Minnesota, Native Americans, trade, Transportation

Red River Oxcart Trade 1840 to 1850

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MĂ©tis families (formed by marriages between whites and Indians) take their furs from the Red River Valley to St. Paul in oxcarts. Long caravans of up to 200 carts travel from as far away as Winnipeg, Canada, making St. Paul one of the leading fur markets in the country from the 1840s to the 1860s.*

My first question, Lord, is who are the Metis people? Doing what any modern American would do when faced with something they haven’t encountered before I went straight to wikipedia, and found the following excerpt below.

“The MĂ©tis are the descendants of Indigenous Cree or Anishinaabe women who married French or Scottish fur traders during the early colonial period. They have a specific, unique culture. Most are found among the Michif-speaking peoples of the Red River region in modern Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota.[1] The Red River peoples are part of the same ethnic group as many of the Canadian MĂ©tis peoples. There is also a broader but limited use of the term to describe any people who descend from the united culture created by the intermarriage of various French and British fur traders and various Algonquian, Cree and other Native American groups intermarrying during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This use would exclude from MĂ©tis people-hood those whose ancestries became mixed between these different ethnic groups in other settings or more recently than about 1870.” **

So now I have a place to begin my prayer; with at least an inkling of a back story of the Metis. God, I don’t really feel too prayerful tonight, but I’m willing to wait with You and see where it goes. Ok?

To begin, thank You that the Metis are Your people, and included in Your family. Thanks that You have watched over and led them for generations before their participation in the fur trade took place. Today I give your gratitude for the this era of the oxcart trail!

Next, I thank You that Metis marriages became an intersection between Scotch, Irish, French, Cree, Anishinaabe, and perhaps more nations of people! My late aunt, Ingrid Trobisch, an author and marriage counselor once told me, “Interracial marriages may be doubly difficult, but they are also doubly blessed.” I  commend  and honor these marriages that forged a new and unique culture from their culture of origin to You Good Father! Will you bless the Metis and all their future generations with the same forbearing spirit?

How interesting that, again, a people group becomes synonymous with a form of transportation: the Sami people of Finland the reindeer, the Arabs the horse, the Peruvians the llama, and the Metis the oxcart. All through history You have given us gifts and innovative thoughts that improve our lives. Thank You for these gifts. Will You bless those who rode these caravans, and continue to provide for their needs in the present and future? Will You cause us to pause as we drive I-94 west of Minneapolis, and remember who those who first blazed this road; the Metis?

Lord, I ponder what those in the future will think about us when the car is an antiquated beast. Will our interstates lead them somewhere, or will they cease to have purpose ? Will we be associated with our vehicles? In any case, I ask that You bless the future forms of transportation that may be discovered here in Minnesota, and that they would be inhabited by people who drive them to intersect with their neighbors as the Metis did.

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MĂ©tis

 

 

 

 

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