Located on Chicago Bay in the ghost-town of Hovland, MN (19 miles northeast of Grand Marais), is the last remaining vintage commercial dock on Lake Superior. The concrete dock dates back to the early 1900’s when Hovland was a thriving economic hub in the area. Its primary use was a loading and unloading site for passenger and cargo ships traveling between Duluth and Canada.
Today the dock stretches out about a hundred feet into the deep water, with a couple sections disconnected and submerged into Lake Superior. An old bell that was rung in years past to signal the arrival of a boat or ship lives at the base of the dock. Near the bridge are also many old cabins that used to house the longshoremen who were responsible for loading and unloading the cargo on the ships. Though the area has not been kept up and is often referred to as a ghost town, it alludes to a fascinating past that was full of activity.
Fortunately, the dock is easily accessible for photographers and visitors who wish to visit. From Grand Marais, drive on Highway 61 for approximately 18.5 miles. Turn right onto Chicago Bay Road and the dock will be on the right side of the road in 500 feet. There is a small parking area where you can pull-off, park your car, and walk near the dock.