Rainy Lake Mermaid

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, statesque 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 scultpure 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.


Latitude: 48.655965 Longitude: -93.168322 Elevation: 1110 ft
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Accessibility Notes

Only accessible by boat.


The mermaid is in a beautiful place I see why my daughter wanted to have her ashes put there

d walker, 11/11/2014

As a child my parents would take the boat out as a family to go see the mermaid

Janice, 7/11/2016

As a young architect, I had the pleasure of working for Gordon Schlichting in Minneapolis in the late 1960's and later was a part owner, with my two brothers, of a cabin on Rainy Lake. I made it a point while there to find the way, by boat, to visit the mermaid, which was a memorable event! Thanks Gordon.

Roger Roslansky in La Crosse, WI, 5/3/2018

I have gone to see the mermaid for over 20 years when I go to Rainey It makes my trip Dan from Ohio

Dan, 5/27/2018

This unique piece of art is a "must see"! My family introduced me to it as a young lad in the late 1950's. Since that time I have witnessed several professionally done photographs (numbered, matted & framed) in various businesses and homes around the borderland area.

Neil, Duluth, MN, 8/17/2018, 8/17/2018

The Mermaid is only one of the many treasures Rainy Lake has to offer. Voyageurs National Park is another. "Come for a visit - Stay for a lifetime!"

Elizabeth 09-17-18, 9/17/2018

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