The Township of Breitung is named after Edward Breitung who came from Michigan to help start the iron ore mine and the first shipment of ore came from the “Breitung Pit”. The first shipment of iron ore from Minnesota occurred in Breitung Township on July 31, 1884 and a celebration of that great event was held in the Township of Breitung Town Hall on July 31, 2014. State, County, local and other dignitaries spoke on this milestone and afterwards a large gathering of residents from around the area took note of the historic date and the activities which occurred 130 years ago.
The Vermilion Range Old Settlers’ Association organized in 1914, is what the name implies. The workers at the Breitung Pit alongside the workers at the Soudan Underground Mine began setting aside this time as a day off from the hard work at the mine to celebrate the good fortune of the area with a picnic at McKinley Park on Lake Vermilion just a mile down the road. The group meets annually on McKinely Park on the third Saturday in July. This makes an opportunity for the pioneers to get together and recount some of the happenings in the early years on the Vermilion Range. The picnic and program is organized by the Association President and directors which have been composed of the volunteer area citizens and Township of Breitung board members. The chef and his assistants who prepare and serve the booyah (a beef and vegetable soup) gladly volunteer for this special day in July. Registration for this noteworthy event nearly topped 360 this year plus the folks just visiting or stopping by! That is a lot of booyah!