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Cuyuna Iron Range Municipally-Owned Elevated Metal Water Tanks facts for kids

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Cuyuna Iron Range Municipally-Owned Elevated Metal Water Tanks
CuyunaRangeWaterTanks.jpg
The water tanks in Deerwood, Crosby, and Ironton respectively.
Location Crosby, Minnesota
Cuyuna, Minnesota
Deerwood, Minnesota
Ironton, Minnesota
Trommald, Minnesota
Area Cuyuna Range
Built 1912-1918
Architect Des Moines Bridge & Iron Co.; Minneapolis Steel Machinery Co.
MPS Cuyuna Iron Range Municipally-Owned Elevated Metal Water Tanks TR
NRHP reference No. 80002027
Added to NRHP October 22, 1980

The Cuyuna Iron Range Municipally-Owned Elevated Metal Water Tanks are a group of five water towers within the Cuyuna Range in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. The water tanks, built between 1912 and 1918, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places because they represent the historical period of community planning, public works, and engineering that supported the development of the Cuyuna Range. Their construction was made possible by a favorable property tax arrangement on the iron mines that brought significant revenues to the towns of Crosby, Cuyuna, Deerwood, Ironton, and Trommald. The communities began around 1910, when iron mining started on the Range. The peak of mining employment was around 1920, and it started to decline around 1930. By the 1950s, iron mining was well in decline on the Cuyuna Range.

State historian Theodore C. Blegen wrote,

A singular aspect of range-town life was the blossoming of schools, community buildings, parks, splendid streets, and other public improvements built generously, not to say lavishly. They set standards far beyond those of most Minnesota cities at the time. These reflected at once a public desire for the best, a concern on the part of citizens for the education of their children, and the availability of taxes to provide the funds without stint for public wants.

Even the smaller communities were able to install complete water systems. After the end of iron mining, as the communities lost population, many of the publicly funded improvements such as schools have disappeared, and many of the houses have either been torn down or were left abandoned and dilapidated. Within Trommald and Cuyuna, the water towers are the most visible remains of the mining boom years.

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