Lake Vermillion is a one of the largest lakes situated in Minnesota and is 37 miles across with 365 islands.
Lake Vermillion was formed by creating a dam on the Vermillion River’s east fork
The name Vermillion is a French translation of the Ojibwe tribal name “Onamuni” meaning “Lake of the sunset glow”, the French used the Latin word vermillion which is basically the word for a range of colours from red to yellow. Modern archaeologists have found evidence to suggest native American tribes have been living in the Lake Vermillion area since before 7000 B.C..
One of the most important periods of history for the Lake Vermillion area was the gold rush of 1865. The gold rush was started when Henry Eames who was commissioned by governer Stephen Miller to do complete a geological survey of the region sent some rock samples to New York for analysis and found gold deposits of $25 per ton or ore. The gold rush peaked in 1866 when some estimated that as many as 500 men were camped around Lake Vermillion gold prospecting.
By 1868 the gold rush was over, the northeastern Minnesota winter and difficulty in recovering the gold from the hard iron ore deposits that surrounded the gold stopped the prospectors from making an instant fortune, this sent the gold prospectors onto the next the gold rush finds in Montana.
As well as gold the Lake Vermillion area has large quartz deposits, although many came seeking their fortune from the gold the real money in the area was made from the iron ore deposits.