Lanesboro itself, founded in 1868, is a town of less than 1,000 residents. A dam was built to create a lake for sailing in ’68, and an old hotel, the Phoenix, was also built in ’68. The hotel burned down in ’85. Mills and breweries attempted to gain a foothold in Lanesboro, but none lasted. The Presbyterians and Catholics built limestone churches on the hills, and those were the only things that managed to put down roots and survive.