Tower Boat Landing


This rare photograph depicts the Tower Boat landing, located at the site of the proposed Tower Harbor project. This landing was a very busy place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with steamships and boats traveling daily across Lake Vermilion serving lumber camps, tourist resorts and summer lake residents. During the Rainy Lake gold rush in the 1890s, hundreds of people arrived in Tower and took the steam ships to the Vermilion River before beginning the overland stage coach route to Crane Lake and west to the gold fields on Rainy Lake (present day Voyageurs National Park). Daily train service arrived at the Tower Depot bringing people, freight and supplies from Duluth, and points beyond, destined for many points on Lake Vermilion. The quickest way to reach remote parts of the lake, and points northwest was by boat or steam ship.  Most steam ships terminated at Hunter’s Lodge, (present day Vermilion Dam Lodge), before making the return trip back to the berths in the boat houses pictured here. A close look at this c. 1910 photograph shows a sign for Aronson’s Boat Livery and an advertisement for beer.