By Ceasar Ortega
I didn’t know what to expect when I moved up here and that’s why I am telling you now what you should expect if you’re potentially considering making the Iron Range your home. There are four key aspects that I believe make the Iron Range special; there is a wealth of history as well as a strong pride in that history that echoes from when this area was settled, the entire region is a swath of beautiful woodland mountain regions dotted by wetlands that are exceptional to experience in any season, and a peaceful but vibrant heartbeat that is the community that lives here.
The Iron Range is, of course, known for its iron and the wealth of it that lies beneath the hills. What you should also know is that those mines are a powerful backbone of the community and those who have a career working with them are able to build comfortable lives for themselves and their families and are by and large the ironclad foundation of this community. I have known a few people who have worked in several of the mines and they work hard but live happy, comfortable lives because of their hard work.
The history behind the mines are amazing as well (I never thought that I would be interested in how ore deposits work) and the history still lives today and I found that wholly unique to my experience from everywhere else that I have lived.
There is so much to say about the nature here; how when fall begins you can look out from the Eveleth Mine View at the orange and red for miles and taste the crispest autumn air I have ever tasted, when summer comes how you can taste a cookout down the street at nearly any given time of the week, or how when the lakes finally freeze the ice fishers bring out their trailers to the middle of the lake and you can see them lit up at night like a little city on the frozen waters.
Every region is unique in its own way; but the nature here in the Iron Range is serene and wholesome and an absolute reason as to why living here was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The seasons don’t blend, or rush by in a hurry; they are defined, sharp, and completely intoxicating.
And as for the community I have never seen one so completely involved and willing to help a stranger. I moved to Chisholm alone and barely knowing anybody even in the state, it was scary and I was not sure what I should do. Within a year I already know most of the shop owners in town, people know who I am simply driving down the road and I can no longer call myself a stranger in the Iron Range. All it takes is to want to be a part of the community and they will call you family.
Ceasar is the marketing coordinator for Iron Range Tourism, and also works for the Chisholm Area Chamber of Commerce as communications coordinator.