Next to the Aerial Lift Bridge, the icon most representative of Duluth is Enger Tower. High atop the hills overlooking the city and harbor is this 5-story beacon made of native blue stone. The light above gives it a nautical flair, and many people have wondered why it was built on top of the hill and not down on the lake shore. But sailors on the Great Lakes know why.
When the large ocean-going vessels cross the Atlantic Ocean and come down the St. Lawrence Seaway and through the Great Lakes, those headed for the Duluth-Superior Harbor can spot the city’s hills as they come over the horizon way out on Lake Superior. From far away, Enger Tower’s bright light lets them know their destination is in sight.
The structure was built in 1939, after Bert Enger, a Norwegian immigrant who had a successful life here, bequeathed the property for the tower, the golf course, and Enger Park. Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway dedicated Enger Tower on June 15, 1939 to the people of Duluth as a connection to the people of Norway and the good will between our countries.
Just a year ago, on October 17, 2011, Enger Tower was rededicated by Olav’s son, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, upon its renovation. Upon their arrival the royal couple were greeted by Mayor Don Ness and several local dignitaries. After the official greeting, there was a luncheon in their honor during which His Majesty King Harald gave a brief speech:
“During our visit in the Midwest, the Queen and I have had the pleasure of visiting many institutions that are doing an important jobdocume nting and conveying to future generations the stories of the Norwegian immigrants. My sense of pride in the achievements of the Norwegian immigrants and their descendants has been reinforced. You have made and are continuously making great contributions to all aspects of American society.”
Today, the Enger Park is filled with beautiful gardens, walking paths, a gazebo lookout for gazing out over Lake Superior and St. Louuis River Bay. Under a canopy of white birch and poplar trees, sits a Japanese peace bell, a gift from Duluth's Sister City in Ohara, Japan. A new Japanese garden commemorates 20 years of friendship between the people of the two cities.
Tourists are awestruck by the views, and locals never tire of hiking the pathways or picnicking amid the gardens. Yet both agree that the best part of visiting Enger Park is climbing the tower.
At 531 feet above lake level, the octagonal tower features lookouts on every level, with a staircase that takes you all the way to the top. Each level offers fantastic photographic opportunities from every vantage point.
Just 6.8 miles from Indian Point Campground, this Duluth landmark is a “must see” while you are in the city.