Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, there’s a mermaid in the water!
People ask all the time – “what on earth is a mermaid doing out in Rainy Lake?”
The Rainy Lake Mermaid constructed in the 1930s out of steel rods, old boat propellers, and cement sits upon a rock in the middle of beautiful Rainy Lake.
Located in Silver Island Narrows, near Copenhagen Island, the Mermaid, statuesque and secretive, is said to watch over the comings and goings of the lake.
The statue – truly a work of art – was created by Gordon A. Schlichting, a Minneapolis architect, who spent his summer vacation on Rainy Lake as a student in the 1930s visiting his cousins the Lysnes from Minnesapolis. The Lysne cabin on Copenhagen Island has been in the Minneapolis family dating back to 1905.
It is said that Schlichting, a young architectural student at the University of Minnesota at the time created the sculpture instead of doing chores at his uncle’s cabin.
In article from the Fort Frances Times, Kurt Lysne joked that his “cousin [Gordon] decided to do something better than hauling wood and water.”
As to why a mermaid, it is said Schlichting’s uncle Henry liked buxom women so the idea stuck.
Schlichting completed the sculpture in three months and went on to be a renowned architect in Minneapolis. He has since passed away (1997), but returned many times over the years to visit his mermaid.
Despite being almost a century old, enduring Canadian winters and the beating heat of the summertime, the mermaid is still in near prestine condition, delighting boaters and those looking for an interesting picture to add to their trip scrapbooks and social media feeds.