Tower Junction

Photo of the Tower Junction in Tower, Minnesota

This extremely rare undated photograph depicts the Tower Junction during the early 20th century.


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.



Tower Junction

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.



Tower Junction photo in 2020, from the same area as the older photo above.

Tower Junction photo in 2020, taken from the same viewpoint as the older photo presented with the information.

View of the Tower Junction (with the water tower) and the bridge on the North American Road, in 2020.

View of the Tower Junction (with the water tower) and the bridge on the North American Road, in 2020. Taken from the same viewpoint as the older photo, turned slightly to the right.

Panorama view of the Tower Junction area in 2020.

The Tower Junction area, including the water tower, as a panorama photo.