“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tower in Saint Louis County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

The Old Vermilion Trail and Winston City

The Old Vermilion Trail and Winston City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cameron Miller, July 28, 2009
1. The Old Vermilion Trail and Winston City Marker
Inscription. On October 28, 1865, geologist Henry H. Eames returned to St. Paul after initiating a survey of the mineral wealth present in the Lake Vermilion area only to find an abundance of rumors concerning a valuable gold strike on the shores of that lake. A number of gold mining companies were quickly organized, and a St. Paul newspaper dispatched a special correspondent to the Vermilion gold field. Hundreds of men including recently discharged civil war veterans made their way to Duluth, where they purchased food and supplies for the trek north to the supposed gold fields.

During the winter of 1865-66, many of these men were employed by the mining co. to break open a road from Duluth to Pike Bay of Lake Vermilion. This road followed in part an old Indian trail from the Head of the Lakes. The improved trail stretched 85 miles to the north and in time, became known as the Old Vermilion Trail. At first only a winter road, it was improved in 1868-69 by George R. Stuntz who directed a resurvey and construction project financed in part by government funds.

Three quarters of a mile NE of this marker the gold prospectors created a log cabin and shack community named Winston City. In 1866 it boasted several stores, a hotel, four saloons and a post office. But gold was not found in quantities sufficient to cover the cost of mining. In 1867 the disappointed miners deserted their gold diggings and Winston City shortly became the first ghost town of the Vermilion Range.
Erected 1973 by Minnesota, St. Louis County and Tower-Soudan Historical Societies along with the citizens of Vermilion township and the Minnesota State Highway Department.
Location. 47° 47.233′ N, 92° 21.567′ W. Marker is in Tower, Minnesota, in Saint Louis County. Marker is at the intersection of County Road 526, off of Minnesota 169 (State Highway 169), on the right when traveling west on County Road 526, off of Minnesota 169. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tower MN 55790, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tower Train Museum (approx. 3.9 miles away); Welcome to DM&IR Engine # 1218 (approx. 3.9 miles away); Hanka Homestead (approx. 9.9 miles away); Apostolic Lutheran Church (approx. 10.9 miles away); Alma Norha Playhouse (approx. 11˝ miles away); Nelimark Sauna (approx. 11˝ miles away); Embarrass Co-op (approx. 11.7 miles away).
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers

Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 15, 2017, by Cameron Miller of Mankato, Minnesota. This page has been viewed 109 times since then and 23 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on June 15, 2017, by Cameron Miller of Mankato, Minnesota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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