fishing on the
St. Croix River in the early 1900’s
August Miller Sr. was the first commercial
fisherman in Lakeland. He came from Sussell, Germany in 1880 with his parents
at the age of 16. Arriving in New York, they ventured west, traveling all
the way to Minnesota in a covered wagon. When they reached Hinkley, they
met another German family named Schultz. August (probably 18 years old)
married the daughter, Anna.
Together August and Anna traveled to Stillwater to live. This is where
their first child was born. Later they moved to Lakeland where August started
commercial fishing. The business was successful and so was his family —
Anna had 12 more children.
At an early age the five boys started to help with the commercial fishing.
One of the boys was William “Beanie” Miller
who started commercial fishing at the age of eight. Horses were used to
pull ice from the river to an ice house, pull in nets loaded with fish,
and brought fish packed sleighs to Saint Paul.
Commercial fishing was hard work. The nets were put in the river around
4 a.m. The rest of the day was spent pulling in the nets and gathering
the fish to be packed in ice. Fish were very abundant in those days and
thousands of pounds were netted each day.
After August Sr. passed away, some of his boys continued with commercial
fishing. Soon each son married and left the fishing business for other
Only one son, William “Beanie” Miller,
and a brother-in-law, Ed Meissner, remained
in the business. They purchased land in 1918 where “Beanies at
Maui’s Landing” is
now located and commercial-fished together
for many years.
Soon many fishermen began to gather at this location. In addition to
commercial fishing, Beanie began renting fishing boats
to visitors. In 1928 Ed Meissner sold his share
of the business to Beanie. It was not long before the
renting of boats increased to the point that Beanies
son Luverne “Beans” took
over the commercial fishing. Beanie continued to handle
the boat rental and bait sales. From that point on
Beanies became a popular spot for local youth to find
great summer employment.
Following the death of William “Beanie” Miller in 1933, his
son Luverne “Beans” took over the entire operation
with great success. After Luverne “Beans” died, his son Mark
took over the business. Although there was still some commercial fishing,
the price of fish had dropped to a point that was no longer profitable.
However, the boat launch, fishing boat rental and bait sales continued.
In 1991 Mark sold the business to Gary and Dottie Mau
who chose not to continue the commercial fishing. They have added a new
launch ramp, docks, underground gas storage, and several new rental boats.
The business now is primarily a boat launch, boat rental (houseboat, pontoons,
fishing boats, and personal water craft), bait, tackle, and convenience