Longyear Drill Site

E.J. Longyear’s historic first diamond drill site on the famed Mesabi Iron Range, established in 1890, is located about three miles north of Hoyt Lakes on County Road 110.

An information booth in the parking area directs the visitor along a quarter-mile of wilderness nature trail leading to the actual 1890 drill site. Benches along the trail invite a leisurely stroll to the site, and the return trail crosses two foot bridges.

Preserved at the site is the beginning of new era in mineral exploration. Longyear’s steam engine drove its diamond-bitted drill to a depth of 1,293 feet. Eventually, Longyear directed the exploration of over 7,000 test pit and diamond drill holes across the Mesabi Range, and eventually established today’s worldwide Longyear Exploration Company.

Equipment on-site includes a Sullivan Model ‘H’ Drill, which held the diamond bits that rotated to drill and core the earth, Cameron #3 Steam Water Pump, which was used to cool the diamond bits, a Churn Buck used to drive down the drill castings, and a Vertical Steam Boiler which delivered power to the drill.
Directions: Entering Hoyt Lakes on St. Louis County Road 110, Take a left at stop sign and take St. Louis County Road 666 and drive 3.5 miles north.
Admission: No admission fee; open year-round.

To request a Free Heritage & Attraction Brochure visit our Free Vacation Guide section.

Longyear Drill Site

CR 666
Hoyt Lakes, MN 55750