I: MOUNTAINS OF IRON
THIS booklet is a brief history of the iron ore and coal docks of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Cleveland. The docks were originally built only a few years after the discovery of the enormous ore fields on the shores of the upper lakes, and therefore they have special historic interest at this time. They are owned by an organization celebrating its 100th anniversary, and they have symbolized the ore and coal shipping industry which has been associated so closely with Clevelandís growth into its present industrial stature. Although the city is now 150 years old, it had only 500 inhabitants as late as 1825. Its location was strategic, but its real expansion did not come until new fields of ore were discovered which demanded a strategic transshipping
point. The docks were an immeasurably important factor in handling the reddish brown natural wealth which was to vitalize the nationís economy.
The story begins on a Spring day in 1845, when a small group of men huddled around an Indian chief in the wilds of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Indian, a Chippewa named Marji Gesick, was drawing a crude map on the ground. He had been hired by the party, headed by P.M. Everett of Jackson, Michigan, to show them the location of reported iron ore mountains. Other men interested in gold or silver, or even copper, had diffidently forgotten about rumors or iron outcroppings. But Everett, a man of considerably more vision, had listened to the reports with interest and had hired Marji Gesick. The Indian, who had been guiding surveyors the previous year when the outcroppings were discovered, proceeded unerringly to the area. Then he halted nervously, out of fear that the spirit living in the iron mountain would resent an intrusion of his territory. Refusing to go any farther himself,
The initial "bite" of each of the four Huletts may be as much as 20 tons.
These machines unloaded a
Ore is unloaded directly into railroad cars or into a concrete trough where
Marji Gesick took a stick and drew his map on the ground. With this aid, Everett soon found the hills of solid iron the Carp River, 300 miles west of Sault Sainte Marie. The find later became known as the Marquette Range, and from it came the first ore of the tremendous flow which established Clevelandís position as a prominent iron trans-shipping port.
In 1849, the Marquette Iron Company was organized in Cleveland, and it claimed ownership of a mountain in the Marquette Range which was known as the Cleveland mine. The first ore was taken out in 1850 and two years later, only six barrels of ore were shipped to Cleveland by the Marquette Company aboard the steamer Baltimore. This was negligibly small foretaste of the millions of tons to come, but about this time a number of events took place which combined to create favorable conditions for the infant iron ore shipping industry.
Previous to the opening of the Marquette Range, which was later supplanted in importance by the Minnesota fields, the nationís iron needs were chiefly supplied by small local mines such as the Cornwall mines at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and other mines at Port Henry on Lake Champlain.