Saturday, April 05, 2008

Gunflint Lake's Rail Roads – Iron Ore to Logging

If you are interested in the history of the Port Arthur, Duluth and Western Railroad, which ran from Port Arthur to the Paulson Mine, go to- The railroad extension into the Minnesota was first to reach the iron ore at the Paulson Mine north of gunflint lake. When this venture met with failure, the Pigeon River Lumber Company constructed a side spur called the Gunflint & Lake Superior Railroad from Little Gunflint Lake, 3 and ½ miles to Crab Lake in 1903. For several years this logging venture succeeded in shipping a rich harvest of timber from the Crab Lake area onto the mills in Port Arthur.

The website by Dave Battistel, Thunder Bay, Ontario traces the history of the rail road from it inception in 1872 through its demise in 1938 and then traces the disposition of the rail line's route and facilities up to 1999. The site also includes many historical and recent images of the rail line.

For additional articles on the History of the Gunflint Trail can be viewed at



At 12:33 PM, Blogger Rich said...

Ted, Dave's website is a great service to all of us who are interested in the history of the area. Certainly, anyone who is interested in the PeeDee should bookmark this.

I was sorry to read that the Forestry is having to dynamite the corduroy and gravel grade by Bridal Falls on the south side of Gunflint Lake in order to put out the remnants of last summer's forest fire. With all the interest in history of the area, it is too bad that there wasn't some alternative. It is (was)a unique structure up close and certainly an interesting engineering solution to getting the railroad up the steep grade there. Another bit of history fades into the forest...

Rich Fink


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