Artifacts of the Vermilion Iron Range Industrial Boom

This is a series about the artifacts of the local industrial and mining boom around the turn of the 20th Century that are still visible today, within Tower and Soudan and in the woods around them. We will try to explain what all of the more (and less) obvious things are and the history behind them, from the Jasper Peak lookout tower to the Stuntz Bay chimney and compressor room to the North American Mine fireplace and engine house.

The LaRue Mine (Armstrong Bay Mine)

History The LaRue Mine was a small mining operation northeast of Lake Vermilion, located along the same ridge as the larger Soudan Mine and the Consolidated Vermilion & Extension mine…. [Read More]

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Stuntz Bay Compressor House

History The Stuntz Bay Compressor House was built in 1884, and operated until the 1930s. It was demolished for the most part some time in the 1940s. Today, you can… [Read More]

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St. Cyril and Method Society

History The St. Cyril and Method Society of Tower was formed in 1889 by Monsignor Joseph Francis Buh and Reverend Francis X. Bajec, when Bajec discovered that there was no… [Read More]

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History Kelly’s was a local “House of Ill Fame” located just outside of Tower, across the river. It probably operated between the late 1880s and the early 1930s. It was… [Read More]

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Thomas J. Walsh

History Thomas J. Walsh was a prominent member of Tower and Soudan’s history at the turn of the 20th Century, though his name seems all but forgotten. He was involved… [Read More]

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Tower & Soudan Street Railway Company

History For a short time before the turn of the 20th century, Tower and Soudan had a streetcar. The streetcar ran from Mill Point, through Tower along Main Street, to… [Read More]

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North American Brick, Tile and Pottery Company

History The North American Brick, Tile and Pottery Company was part of the industry surrounding the Town of Walsh, and was built and running while the North American Mine was… [Read More]

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Jasper Peak Fire Lookout Tower

History Jasper Peak, also known as Chester Peak, has long been a focal point of Lake Vermilion life. From the fire watch tower built on the top, to the park… [Read More]

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North American Hotel

History A corporation composed of Duluth and Minneapolis people, and known as the North American Hotel company, was organized to build and own the hotel. It was to be a… [Read More]

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North American Mine

History The North American Mine was one of four of Thomas J. Walsh‘s mining projects, started in the early 1900s and progressing until the mid 1920s. Walsh had many big… [Read More]

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