Black and white photograph of the boomtown of Merritt that sprang up near the Biwabik Mine, 1892.

Mining townsite one mile east of Biwabik, Merritt

The boom town of Merritt (not named by the Merritts) that sprang up near the Biwabik Mine, 1892.

Black and white photograph of Leonidas Merritt on the Vermillion Trail, 1892.

Lon Merritt on Old Vermillion Trail, just north of Duluth

Leonidas Merritt on the Vermillion Trail, 1892.

Black and white photograph of the Merritts' first mining operation on the Mesabi, c.1892.

First mine on Mesabi Range, near Mountain Iron

The Merritts' first mining operation on the Mesabi, c.1892.

Black and white photograph of from left to right: Leonidas, John, and Bert Merritt exploring, 1890.

The portage taken at the Falls, 1890

From left to right: Leonidas, John, and Bert Merritt exploring, 1890.

Black and white photograph of Leonidas and Elizabeth Merritt, around the time merchantable ore was discovered on the Mesabi, c.1890.

Leonidas and Elizabeth Merritt

Leonidas and Elizabeth Merritt, around the time merchantable ore was discovered on the Mesabi, c.1890.

Black and white photograph of Lewis H. and Hephzibah J. Merritt, c.1880.

Lewis H. and Hephzibah J. Merritt

Lewis H. and Hephzibah J. Merritt, c.1880.

Black and white photograph of the Merritt family some twenty years before they began mining operations on the Mesabi, 1871.

Lewis H. and Hephzibah J. Merritt with their sons

The Merritt family some twenty years before they began mining operations on the Mesabi, 1871.

MN90: The Greatest Minnesota Athlete to Run on Four Legs

One of Minnesota's greatest athletes was Dan Patch, a harness horse from the turn of the 20th century who set the world record by pacing a mile in 1:55. When salesman Marion Savage (yes, the town Savage, MN is named after him) bought Dan Patch, he became very rich by turning his horse into a supreme pitchman for all kinds of products, including cars, watches and washing machines. MN90 producer Marisa Helms has the story.

MN90: The Lighthouse Keeper's Mistake

Split Rock Lighthouse has been a fixture of Northern Minnesota for generations. But few know the story behind its shaky beginning. What happens when an overeager new lighthouse keeper jumps the gun?

MN90: The Lure of the Lighthouse

For decades, the majority of functioning lighthouses have operated mechanically, without a resident lighthouse keeper to keep things going. Yet tourists still flock to sites like Split Rock to ponder the lighthouse keeper’s lifestyle. What is it about a lighthouse that keeps us wondering?

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