Inside Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum – Abandoned Lake Superior Oddity

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Duluth, Minnesota has many landmarks throughout the city, from the Skylift to the Enger Tower. Perhaps the most mysterious landmark is the building that sits on the shores of Lake Superior near the Duluth Lake Boardwalk.

The building has several names. Some call it Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum, some call it the Nativity Scenes, some call it the Ice House, and some even call it “the old building in the water.”

Novak Expedition via YouTube

Novak Expedition via YouTube

Tourists constantly take pictures of it and many do not know its history. The sunken building that protrudes from Lake Superior near the Lakewalk is called Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum. The building belonged to Harvey Whitney and was built in the winter of 1919.

Novak Expedition via YouTube

Novak Expedition via YouTube

According to Zenith City records, the building was used as a sand and gravel hopper before being abandoned in 1922. There were plans for what was called Lakeshore Park, known today as Leif Erickson Park. The park was designed to stretch from where the rose garden now stands to the corner of the lake. Tennis courts and baseball and soccer fields were also planned for the park, but the plans fell through and changed.

Novak Expedition via YouTube

Novak Expedition via YouTube

I grew up in Park Point and always called it the Ice House, because that’s what my mom called it when she was growing up. Many people swim to the abandoned building and jump from it during the summer. It looks different in winter than in summer.

Novak Expedition via YouTube

Novak Expedition via YouTube

Duluth Urbex checked out the abandoned building last winter that you see here. It has a different look during the summer. Looks like a group swam there and looked at it for themselves. The video is a little long, but they arrive at the building around 4:50. Check it out below:

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