Mark Twain on Lake Vermilion

Mark Twain & dog

Mark Twain

Throughout the years Lake Vermilion has delighted its visitors, known, unknown, famous and infamous alike. Perhaps, the lake’s most famous guest ever was world renowned Mr. Mark Twain.

During the late 19th century and early 20th century there was only one American whose face would be instantly recognized by many people the world over, and of course we again speak of Mr. Mark Twain, who defined America, not only to all of the world’s myriad citizens, but — especially to us Americans, ourselves.

The international traveler, raconteur, and famous writer favored Lake Vermilion with a quick trip here in 1908. Traveling the northwest to look over the church and Methodist Episcopal Mission at Wakemup Village, Dr. Forbes, of Duluth, Minn., brought Mr. Twain up to the lake as his guest. It is reported that they lodged at Joyce’s Landing, an early Lake Vermilion resort (currently Pehrson’s Lodge).

Many of the details of Mr. Twain’s visit are obscured by the one-hundred-plus-years which have passed since Mr. Twain favored us with his presence. We can only assume that the lake’s many charms were not lost on the good Mr. Twain — it is regrettable that, to date, we have not found any references to our beautiful lake in any of Mr. Twain’s extensive writings.