History of Lake County, 1950-1999

  NORAD assigned the 756th Air Force Squadron to Finland Minnesota. The air base was part of a radar early warning system and was in operation from 1950 to 1980.
timeline21.jpg In 1952 The Republic Steel Cooperation announced plans to build a new mineral processing plant that would concentrate low grade taconite ore into a product that could be used in the steel mills. Originally known as the Beaver Bay Housing Project, Silver Bay became Lake County’s youngest city in 1954.
timeline22.jpg In 1958, William Kelley High School, named for Reserve’s first president, was opened eliminating the long 28-mile bus ride to Two Harbors.

The DM & IR replaces last steam locomotive with diesel in 1960.

The DM & IR donates space in the Duluth & Iron Range Depot in Two Harbors to the Lake County Historical Society for offices and a museum in 1960. Lake County will eventually own and then grant the building to the Historical Society.

1962 saw the DM & IR discontinue passenger service between Duluth and Two Harbors.

1963 US Steel shuts down the ore docks and the rail lines in Two Harbors, creating what has become known as "Black Friday".

1966 US Steel reopens the ore docks and railroad.

In 1968 Two Harbors opens the Walter Norlen Industrial Park bringing new industries like Husky Hydraulics, Two Harbors Machine / Serco Loaders, Labounty Manufacturing, Hahn Harvesters, and Northshore Steel to Two Harbors. These manufacturers essentially make equipment for the logging industry but will eventually expand in to other markets as well.

1971 the Edna G is placed on the National Historic Register.

On February 17, 1972, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit against Reserve Mining for violating the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 which prohibited the dumping of harmful materials into interstate waters. For five years, as the trial dragged on, everyone who lived in Silver Bay or worked for Reserve wondered if they would to continue to have homes and jobs. Finally, on July 7, 1977, Reserve was given permission to build a tailings storage basin 7 miles inland from Silver Bay at Mile Post 7.

timeline23.jpg 1981 the refitting of many great lakes freighters with bow thrusters for maneuvering in port eliminated the need for tugboats in Agate Bay. The Edna G is retired and sold to the City of Two Harbors.

As a result of economic pressure Reserve Mining closed it's Silver Bay taconite processing plant in 1986.

The Silver Bay taconite processing plant reopened as North Shore Mining 1990.

timeline24.jpg Through an act of congress the Lake County Historical Society takes possession of the Two Harbors Lightstation in 1999.
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The State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Corps of Engineers completed construction of the first harbor of refuge/marina on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

The Marina opened in August of 1999. The marina is owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and is managed by the City of Silver Bay.