I was born in Virginia, Minnesota (US) on the Iron Range. The Iron Range supplied much of the iron ore for steel production in the US during the forties and fifties.
My dad and his family were in the grocery business. At one time, I think there were three Fleck grocery stores in Virginia. The El Dorado Bar on Chestnut Street is the site of the last store that my Dad owned. It went bankrupt in the sixties. (Curse the grocery chains!)
I don’t think anyone in the family became a miner. Most of my generation wanted to get out of there as soon as we graduated from high school.
My Grandpa came to the Range before 1900, which was before the mines. He worked as a cook in a logging camp, even farther north than Virginia, in Ely.
Here is a satellite image of Virginia. It’s the best I could find at Google. The large lake on the right is really an old mine pit. (This was open pit mining.)