One of the iconic locations along Minnesota’s north shore is the old Hovland Dock. This dock was originally built in the late 1800s and slowly upgraded. In 1926, the concrete was poured for the current version. It’s a deepwater dock at about 35 feet deep and was used up until the late 1950s. As the lamprey eel destroyed the commercial fishing on Lake Superior, the dock became neglected.
The most legendary north shore ship that used the dock was the America. The America was THE ship that linked Thunder Bay to Isle Royale to Duluth. It ran three times a week between the locations. The America sunk in Washington Harbor on Isle Royale June 6, 1928 five minutes after the Captain turned over control to the first mate. The Hovland Dock and many others in worse shape along the shore serve as a reminder of a time when Highway 61 didn’t exist and a time when the north shore’s fate was tied even more to Lake Superior than it is now.
I’m a big fan of standing in my shots with a headlamp on and looking up into the Milky Way, but because the dock’s fate is now unknown and because it isn’t used anymore, I felt a picture without a human figure could tell the story better. I hope that preservation efforts succeed on preserving this dock, but only time will tell, and Lake Superior isn’t kind to docks as you can see if you visit this one. The dock’s front is collapsed.