Moments In Time: Lost Lives and Hard Work on the Early Gunflint

The cross carved by workers on the Canadian side of Gunflint Lake  in honor of their fellow worker who died building the railway
The cross carved by workers on the Canadian side of Gunflint Lake in honor of their fellow worker who died building the railway

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The Gunflint Trail is a quiet and wild place. Best known for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that surrounds it on both sides, the Trail is often characterized as pristine and untouched. But there was a time when things on the Gunflint Trail were very different. In fact, in the late 1800s an iron mine was established near the end of the trail. There was even a rail line that came down from Canada to the area. Building the line was extremely dangerous and had life and death consequences.

Photo courtesy of David Battistel. To learn more about the history of the Port Arthur, Duluth & Western Railroad check out David’s website.

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