Silver Bay, Minnesota
In Silver Bay, the bulbous metalloid face of Rocky Taconite brightens the day of travelers on Hwy 5. A Reddy Kilowatt kind of anthropomorph, Rocky is made of quarter-inch-thick steel storage tanks, holds a pick in his gloved hand, and wears a miner's hat. He stands on a boulder of taconite, the ore that saved America's steel industry when we learned to extract iron from it after the pure ores in the Mesabi Range were exhausted.
Rocky assumed his perch in 1964. A plaque on the boulder notes that Rocky commemorates "the transition of taconite to steel" and honors the "genius" of those who figured out how to change "a useless rock into a valuable product."