Apr 10, 2024 12:00 PM
Seraphine Rolando
An On-Site Lunch & Tour of the Pioneer Mine.


Our program this week is a guided tour of the Pioneer Mine, with  Seraphine Rolando as guide.  We will be meeting at the Miners Dry House building and lunch will be catered there by the GEL. 
On the National Register of Historic Places since 1978, this iron ore mine was one of several in the Ely area. It closed on April 1, 1967 and is owned by the City Of Ely. It is operated as the Ely Arts and Heritage Center by nonprofit Ely Greens tone Public Art Committee. With mining and historical displays at the Shaft House, 401 North Pioneer Rd., the headframe and water tower are adjacent. Down a stairway where minors once walked is the Minors Dry House where minors reported for work in this important underground mine. It’s rich iron ore played an important role in the building of America from 1890 on and in two world wars.  The Minors Dry House is now used for art classes, and exhibits 6 to 7 months of the year.
Seraphine Rolando is the Director of the Pioneer Mine Museum. He is a lifelong resident of Ely and worked at the Reserve Mining Company’s open pit mine in Babbitt until it closed. He then started up his own business, and the mine project has taken up much of his time since he retired. He has a wealth of information that he will share with us about the Ely mine, and the people who came from Europe to work there. He’s “Ely, Minnesota’s Guy in the Jeep“ on Facebook. He drives around town with a stationary machine gun mounted on his jeep.