Iron Range Historical Society Museum


The IRHS owns 64 photograph albums containing at least 20 thousand photographs. These are used in displays, for family histories, and to be reprinted in books written by local authors. They also have many framed large photos in the museum.

Weekly Newspapers:
The Society has annual books of the Gilbert Herald newspapers from 1923 to 1995 as well as each annual index for the same period. The annual indexes help to locate marriages, births, deaths, and special events in the Gilbert Heralds, which may be copied for individuals requesting them. The IRHS has annual bound books of Eveleth newspapers from 1902 to 1978. There are also some books of Aurora, Biwabik (1900-1901), and Virginia.

News Articles:
All news articles of historical value to the Iron Range in the newspapers received by the Society are preserved and classified by the city, town or township concerned.

Family Histories/Biographies:
The Society owns at least 70 Iron Range family histories donated by various individuals. This includes biographies of some prominent local residents. Copies of these are available to research.

Directories of people who lived in the larger Iron Range cities from 1899 (the first ever printed) to recent times.

Information On File:
Numerous file cabinets are filled with information on Iron Range occupations, and on the various cities, towns and townships, and also manuscripts on Iron Range life of the past with an inventory which helps locate requested information. The Society’s files contain many anniversary booklets for local cities and towns. These include 50, 75 and 100 year anniversaries. Since several local areas celebrated their 100th anniversaries the past few years, many of them produced books for these occasions.

Every year, items are donated to the IRHS, such as books, photos, office machines, clothing, mining artifacts and other material. Each item has acquisition paper describing the item and listing the source. The item is tagged and numbered so the donor can be identified.

Will Steger:
The Society has five binders full of information on the explorer Will Steger from 1982 to the present. We have a typed autobiographical article by Steger. From Steger’s mother’s home, personal letters of congratulation, personal memos, newspaper and magazine articles (some in foreign languages) on his North Pole Expedition. A sled used by Keizo Funatsu in Greenland and in Antarctica on the Steger expeditions is also on display along with several large posters showing the events on the Antarctica crossing.

The Library contains many books dealing with Iron Range matters such as ethnic influences, immigration, work experiences and family life. This is not a lending library but pages of information may be copied for research purposes. The Society also has several new books for sale.

Range Reminiscing:
IRHS has published and mailed to its members issues of Range Reminiscing, formerly called Range History, since 1976. Back copies of these issues have been preserved and may be purchased at the Research Library. At present, issues are sent to members four times a year.

Traveling Exhibits:
The Italians in America Project, consisting of 12 professionally done panels. Developed by Dr. Mary Ellen Mancina Batinich, Ph. D. Joe Miheve was the project director and Gail Peterson was the artist for the two paintings, The Jet Piercing Drill and the Erie Preliminary Plant. This display was used by Ironworld during their Italian Day and the paintings have been shown in a number of places.

Among our artifacts are a number of law enforcement items, such as billy clubs, handcuffs, weapons, shield, and a moonshine still. These are located in the jail area which has unique features. This is the only standing up jail cell in existence. Other artifacts are located in the museum. Also available is a TV/VCR to view video cassettes of historical value.

Summer Hours: May 1 – September 30
Monday and Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Winter Hours: October 1 – April 30
Monday and Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Wednesday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.

No admission fee.  All dates and times are subject to change without notice.

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

Iron Range Historical Society Museum
19 South Broadway
Gilbert, MN 55741