Rocky Taconite.

Rocky Taconite

Field review by the editors.

Silver Bay, Minnesota

In Silver Bay, the bulbous metalloid face of Rocky Taconite brightens the day of travelers on Highway 5. A Reddy Kilowatt kind of anthropomorph, Rocky is made of quarter-inch-thick iron hammered into spheres (up close you can see the texture from the hammering), 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 was completed in 1962 and assumed his perch in 1964, when he was given his name in a contest (The second-place finisher was "Petey Pellet"). 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."

Rocky Taconite

Adams Blvd, Silver Bay, MN
On the northwest corner of Hwy 5/Outer Drive and Adams Blvd, just west of Hwy 61.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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July 9, 2020

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