Photos: Rethinking a Company Town

Business ·

1 Joe Mershon, photographed Nov. 10., 2013, outside the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, is actively involved in promoting Voyageurs National Park events and other activities in the International Falls area. 
2 Fifth graders listened as industrial tech teacher David Olson demonstrated how an LED light can be lit using voltage generated by different fruits. The fifth graders were visiting a high school class aimed at teaching an appreciation for engineering in hopes of retaining young people in International Falls. Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Falls High School in International Falls. 
3 The Daily Circuit's Tom Weber interviewed Mike Ward, superintendent of Voyageurs National Park, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in International Falls. 
4 Men chatted in a hunting shack in north Koochiching County, Minn., on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Pictured from left to right are Steve Shermoen (at stove), International Falls city attorney and owner of the shack; Steve's son Mike Shermoen (backwards cap); Koochiching Economic Development Authority Director Paul Nevanen (at table, vest coat); and International Falls Mayor Bob Anderson (without a coat). 
5 The Coffee Landing Cafe in downtown International Falls, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. 
6 Stephanie Heinle, owner of the Coffee Landing Cafe, spoke with visitors to the cafe in International Falls, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. 
7 RaeAnn Conat, owner of the Swanky Sweet Pea, took part in a conversation about the future of International Falls, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the Coffee Landing Cafe. 
8 JoAnn Smith, owner of the Viking Bar and Lounge, took part in a conversation about the future of International Falls, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the Coffee Landing Cafe. 
9 Realtor Jordan Pearson took part in a conversation about the future of International Falls, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the Coffee Landing Cafe. 
10 The Daily Circuit's Tom Weber spoke with Ground Level reporter Jennifer Vogel as producer Marc Sanchez recorded on the streets of International Falls, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. 
11 Ground Level's Dave Peters and Jennifer Vogel spoke with International Falls residents at the Coffee Landing Cafe Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in International Falls. 
12 Students of industrial tech teacher David Olson and math teacher Timm Ringhofer experimented with conductive Play-Doh and LED lights Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Falls High School in International Falls. 
13 Students joked around while connecting wires to conductive Play-Doh and producing a buzzing sound Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Falls High School in International Falls. 
14 Falls High School Principal Tim Everson said school officials are making preliminary plans in case enrollment shrinks further in the wake of the layoffs, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in International Falls. 
15 Steam rose from the Boise paper mill Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in International Falls. 
16 International Falls Mayor Bob Anderson prepared French toast for a breakfast at the Elks Lodge Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in International Falls. 
17 Producer Marc Sanchez recorded a conversation among International Falls residents at the Coffee Landing Cafe Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in International Falls. 
18 The sun rose over downtown International Falls on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. 
19 Boise employees headed into work early in the morning on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in International Falls. 
20 The sun set over Rainy Lake Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, north of International Falls, near the residence of Blake and Beth Peterson. 
21 The streets in downtown International Falls on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. 
22 Paul Nevanen, director of the Koochiching County Economic Development Authority, stood near railroad tracks in the foreign trade zone near International Falls on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. 
23 After 36 years working at the Boise paper mill, Fred Rusch, center, took an early retirement offer from the company and spent his last day at the plant working, eating cake and saying goodbye to friends and co-workers who worked alongside him for decades. Here, colleagues ate cake and said goodbye on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, at the Boise paper mill in International Falls.