Book Launch in Virginia, MN

Cover Final

We are thrilled to announce the official book launch party for Mesabi Pioneers. The launch party will take place on October 6, 2014, at 7pm, at the B’nai Abraham Synagogue, in cooperation with the Virginia Area Historical Society, located at 328 Fifth Street South, Virginia, Minnesota. Refreshments will be served. Author Jeffrey Smith will read excerpts from the novel, sign copies and answer questions.

Mesabi Pioneers is the highly readable account of one of the most remarkable achievements of the late 19th century: how a remote, tree covered area of northern Minnesota became America’s greatest source of iron ore.

It is 1891. An improbable team of American businessmen and European immigrants hunt for iron ore in a formidable expanse of dense pine forest the natives call nibaad misaabe–the sleeping giant. Fighting isolation, harsh winters, and mosquito-infested summers, they find it. What follows is an extraordinary tale of both personal and technological achievement.

Mesabi Pioneer​s brings the pursuit of iron ore to vivid life, illuminating the men and women mostly forgotten by history, who built an industry, carved towns from trees, and created a rich culture that lasts to this day.

The B’nai Abraham Synagogue was the last remaining active synagogue on the Iron Range until its congregation dwindled to a handful of members who could no longer maintain the handsome brick structure. It closed its doors in the mid-1990s. It was acquired in 2004 by a not-for-profit organization, The Friends of B’nai Abraham, who raised funds, and continue to do so, for the building’s restoration and reuse in order to serve as a Museum and Cultural Center for all the citizens of Virginia, Minnesota and surrounding areas.

Mesabi Pioneers is a story about the history of the Iron Range and celebrating its publication in a building steeped in that very history will provide a rich context and backdrop for the story we are trying to tell. You can find more information about the B’nai Abraham Synagogue at their website.

Mesabi Pioneers will be available in print and ebook through most major retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, on October 6, 2014. Advanced pre-orders of the book can be made at