The locomotive was design to work at the Minnesota Iron Company in 1874 to haul iron ore from its Soudan mine to Two Harbors, and the company greatly contributed to the growth of the town of Two Harbors.
It was bought by Illinois Steel in 1887 which, in 1901, became part of United States Steel Corporation. The D&IR then merged into the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range in 1938.
As heavier locomotives were introduced on the D&IR, "3 Spot" became less and less useful. No longer required, it was sold to the Duluth & Northern Minnesota, another ore carrier operating out of the Mesabi Range to docks at Superior, WI, and Duluth, MN, in 1899 and was renumbered #2.
Today the locomotive is a static display at The Two Harbors Depot Museum in Two Harbors, MN.
The locomotive was shipped to Two Harbors by barge and was the only wood burning locomotive ever operated on the D&IR. It was a good choice, however, because it could take fuel from the plentiful adjacent forests, and water from the many local rivers and streams as it hauled rails, supplies and equipment from Agate Bay up to the rail head.
It was built for a railroad in Brazil at a cost of $12,000, but was refused for technical reasons and in need of a locomotive to help lay rails from Two Harbors, the D&IR purchased it for $9,750