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The city of Mountain Iron is in the heart of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota, and part of what is known as the Quad Cities, which include Eveleth, Gilbert, and Virginia. US Highway 169 is the chief route through the city, and other nearby communities are Aurora, Biwabik, Britt, Cherry, Chisholm, Embarrass, Forbes, Grant, Iron Junction, Kelly Lake, Makinen, McKinley, Palo, Side Lake, and Zim. The northern half of the city is within the Superior National Forest, the Cloquet Valley State Forest is southeast of the city, and the Chippewa National Forest is west of Mountain Iron. Grand Rapids is about fifty-five miles southwest, and Duluth is about sixty-five miles southeast of Mountain Iron. The city was founded as a mining village in the former Nichols Township in 1892, and named for the nearby Mountain Iron Mine, which is still under operation by the United States Steel Corporation. The community was first known as Marfield in 1892, and changed to Mount Iron in 1894, and assuming its current name in 1913. Mountain Iron became a city in 1972. Its population increased by more than a hundred and forty percent in the 1970s, but has been in a decline since.

 

 

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