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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Branwall memorial bench installed

Stephanie Ukkola
Posted 10/17/20

SOUDAN- Eline Branwall’s memory will live on at the Soudan Underground Mine. Eline passed away in 2016 at 99 years old. In lieu of flowers, her family took donations for a memorial bench …

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Branwall memorial bench installed

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SOUDAN- Eline Branwall’s memory will live on at the Soudan Underground Mine. Eline passed away in 2016 at 99 years old. In lieu of flowers, her family took donations for a memorial bench overlooking the trestle and the town, as well as a plaque that will be installed in the visitor center.
Eline looked up at the mine each day from her home on Gordon Street in Soudan. Her husband Arnie Branwall worked at the mine as a blaster until the mine closed in 1962.
Eline’s daughter, Faye Hilgart, who is now 75, made the pilgrimage back to her hometown to dedicate the bench and was accompanied by her husband, Francis, and son, Brent. Faye’s daughter Erin was unable to make it to the dedication, but said, “I’m very grateful for this addition to the historic mine and state park. It is a marker of our family’s history as miners and Finnish immigrants in northern Minnesota. And in the very short story of the plaque, that history is told from a woman’s perspective, as she saw it from her kitchen window.”
Also at the dedication were close family friends Greg and Joan Dostert and James Pointer, interpretive supervisor of the mine.

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