The Second Treasures Mysteries and Raging Ford, Minnesota, are based on my mother’s home town of Hibbing, located on the very edge of the Mesabi Range. Hibbing boomed during the iron ore hey-days. The marble bathrooms and indoor swimming pool in the public high school, as well as the historic mural in the library, that you’ve read about in these mysteries, all exist. At one point, for safety, they had to move some stores and homes in the town (brick by brick, beam by beam) to a location farther away from the mine when they needed to blast for more iron ore. The Hull-Rust-Mahoning mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world and is still operational today, providing taconite which can be processed into iron pellets. The town currently sits where it was moved, but you can still see some of the front steps of homes and shops where the old town used to be. My grandfather and his brother jointly owned the Kohrt Brothers Meat Market, a shop that had to be moved, but it closed in the crash of 1929. The original cemetery is intact, and one of my uncles who died in infancy (Franklin Kohrt) is buried there. A lot of family love is poured into these stories, and I hope you enjoy the entire six-book series and the little touch of Minnesota in your lives.
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