The Tower Junction was a busy place servicing daily freight and passenger train service coming to the Soudan Mine and the City of Tower, and also heading to Ely. The area from south Soudan, and west to Kugler Township was filled with industrial activity including the railroad, brick factory kilns and ponds, Roy Mine, North American Mine, the Town of Walsh, and the North American Hotel. An estimated 800 people worked in this industrial corridor.
The railroad refilled with coal and water to run the steam locomotives. Today the only extant reminder of the activity at Tower Junction is the round water tower, pictured here on the right, and concrete foundations still found at this site. The water tower was fed from the East Two River nearby.
Recently, some of the old railways were converted to hiking/biking trails and added to the Mesabi Trail. The industrial area extended roughly half a mile both northeast and southwest from this location. The North American Road runs southwest from here, parallel to the railroad grade, leading to the North American Mine area, the Townsite of Walsh, and the Roy Mine area.
This map pulled from the St. Louis County Land Explorer’s 1937-1941 photos shows the Tower Junction industrial area between Tower and Soudan and Kugler Township. Kugler Township is on the south edge of the map. You can see the North American Mine in the middle of the southern edge of the map.