The Arts and Historic Sites

A guide to the arts and historic sites along the North Shore. Historic sites are listed from the southwest [Duluth] end of shore, to the northeast. Museums, art galleries, studios and performing art centers are noted below and can be filtered by community.

Historic Sites Along the Shore

Scenic 61

  • Scenic 61 Drive, follows the path of the original 1929 North Shore road
  • 1856 Buchanan Wayside, site of the 1st north shore post office and an early community on Scenic 61

Two Harbors

  • 1907 Duluth & Iron Range Railroad Depot, now a museum on the waterfront
  • 1883 Ore Dock #1, the ore dock closest to show on the waterfront
  • 1883 3 Spot train & Mallet Engine, on the waterfront
  • 1892 Two Harbors Light Station, includes a museum and B&B, on the waterfront
  • 1896 Edna G. tug, was in service until1981,on the waterfront
  • 1896 Sunken ship Samuel P. Ely, [ok, not the easiest to see, but interesting] in Lake Superior near the western breakwall
  • 1930s R.J. Houle Visitors Center, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps [CCC] as a fire station on Cloquet Lake, now on the northeast edge of town on Highway 61

Gooseberry

  • Virgin Pine and Cedar at Encampment Forest, on Hwy 61 northeast of Two Harbors [drive by only, this is all private property]
  • 1930s CCC Buildings at Gooseberry Falls State Park, take the self-guided tour

Split Rock / Beaver Bay

  • 1900s Pilings at the mouth of the Split Rock River, from the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company’s railway
  • Split Rock Lighthouse, need I say more?
  • Beaver Bay Cemetery, final resting spot of some of the original settlers of beaver Bay, the oldest [1856] community along the shore
  • Grave of Chief John Beargrease, who ran the mail up and down the shore via dogsled [the Beargrease Sled Dog Race is named after him]

Silver Bay / Little Marais / Finland

  • 1910 Tettegouche Camp on Mic Mac Lake, walk-in/ski-in , bike-in site within the state park; you can rent these cabins, too!
  • Silver Bay, the youngest [1956] community on the shore
  • Finland [MN} Heritage Site, set on the 1890 John ‘Pine’ homestead, includes a Fenstad log cabin, a log sauna, and the original Park Hill school

Schroeder / Tofte

  • Father Baraga’s Cross, the symbolic granite cross replaces the wooden one Father Baraga erected in gratitude of his harrowing 1846 trans-Superior voyage
  • The old Stickney Inn, a 1920s Tudor landmark that has also housed a boarding house, restaurant, general store, post office, gas station and meat market

Lutsen

  • Lutsen Resort, established in the 1880s, the main lodge was built in the 1940s

Grand Marais

  • 1880s Breakwall & Lighthouse
  • St Francis Xavier Catholic / Chippewa Church
  • 1896 Lighthouse Keeper’s Residence, now home of the Cook County Historical Society
  • 1930s tug, Neegee, built in Grand Marais and used until the 1950s, it allowed commercial fishermen to venture further out into the lake
  • 1896 Maple Hill Church, picturesque Swedish-style church [pictured at the top of the page]

Northeast to Grand Portage

  • Five Mile Rock, used a distance marker by early travelers
  • Naniboujou Lodge, 1929 lodge with famous Cree-inspired painting in the 80-foot dining hall and domed ceiling
  • Sunken ship America, the bow is in a few feet of water in the North Gap; you can view the ship if you ride the Wenonah out to Isle Royale
  • Archaeological excavations at modern-day Grand Portage National Monument, and the historic collections within the center

The Arts

Throughout the ages the North Shore has inspired a diverse group of artists. Remnants of Dakota and Ojibwe beadwork, weavings and pictographs reveal age-old interpretations of living with this land. Ethnic songs, dances, and rituals were and are imparted to each new generation.

It is the receptiveness of each generation that has allowed the continuation and growth of arts. Explore the galleries, studios, shops, performances and events offered by North Shore artisans.

 

Noted below are art galleries and studios and historical societies & museums

Grand Marais Art Colony
Grand Marais Art Colony

120 West 3rd Avenue | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Non-profit art center offering year-round art classes, studio access, and events for all skill levels from novice to professional artist. Visit the Gallery Store featuring local artists and instructors. Check out exhibits and get a tour of printmaking, glass, ceramics… see more

Non-profit art center offering year-round art classes, studio access, and events for all skill levels from novice to professional artist. Visit the Gallery Store featuring local artists and instructors. Check out exhibits and get a tour of printmaking, glass, ceramics and 2D art studios.

North Shore Music Association
North Shore Music Association

51 West 5th Street | Grand Marais, MN 55604

The North Shore Music Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and supporting musical arts and musicians in northeast Minnesota with a focus on entertainment, education and cultural enrichment.

The North Shore Music Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and supporting musical arts and musicians in northeast Minnesota with a focus on entertainment, education and cultural enrichment.

thomsonite beach gems & jewelry
thomsonite beach gems & jewelry

2920 West Highway 61 | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Mother Nature’s contribution to our amazing piece of property lies in the “Thomsonite gemstone” embedded in our shoreline.  Unique in its presence and beauty, we hope it will encourage lasting memories of your time spent relaxing on our shoreline, listening… see more

Mother Nature’s contribution to our amazing piece of property lies in the “Thomsonite gemstone” embedded in our shoreline.  Unique in its presence and beauty, we hope it will encourage lasting memories of your time spent relaxing on our shoreline, listening to the waves, breathing in the fresh air of the North Shore, sitting by a campfire, watching the sun rise or sun set over the Sawtooth Mountain range.  Or a visit to our Thomsonite Gemstone/Jewelry and gift shop, located in our office, will allow you to find the perfect souvenir.

Split Rock Lighthouse
Split Rock Lighthouse

3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Road | Two Harbors, MN 55616

Shipwrecks from a mighty 1905 November gale prompted this rugged landmark’s construction. Completed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910, Split Rock Light Station was soon one of Minnesota’s best known landmarks. Restored to its 1920s appearance, the lighthouse offers… see more

Shipwrecks from a mighty 1905 November gale prompted this rugged landmark’s construction. Completed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910, Split Rock Light Station was soon one of Minnesota’s best known landmarks. Restored to its 1920s appearance, the lighthouse offers a glimpse of lighthouse life in this remote and spectacular setting.

Cooter Pottery

2046 Fors Road | Two harbors, MN 55616

The pots I make are sturdy, bold, and reflect the processes of making them. Simple decoration enhances the rich surface created by long wood fires. The traces of the artist’s hand is both an antidote and protest to increasing uniformity.… see more

The pots I make are sturdy, bold, and reflect the processes of making them. Simple decoration enhances the rich surface created by long wood fires. The traces of the artist’s hand is both an antidote and protest to increasing uniformity. Impressions made in the soft clay reveal my tie to the work and to the landscape where it is made.
Showroom is open daily, 10am – 5pm.

Cook County Historical Sites

8 South Broadway | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Founded in 1924, the Cook County Historical Society operates five buildings: the Historical Society Museum (the 1896 Lighthouse Keeper’s House) since 1966; the Johnson Heritage Post (JHP) ; St. Francis Xavier’s Chippewa City Church; Bally Blacksmith Shop; and a 1930’s… see more

Founded in 1924, the Cook County Historical Society operates five buildings: the Historical Society Museum (the 1896 Lighthouse Keeper’s House) since 1966; the Johnson Heritage Post (JHP) ; St. Francis Xavier’s Chippewa City Church; Bally Blacksmith Shop; and a 1930’s fish house replica. Alongside the fish house is the 35’ fishing tug, Neegee, built in 1935. All sites are located in the greater downtown Grand Marais area and are free to the public serving all of Cook County as well as our visitors. Other programs include: Passport into the Past is intended to educate elementary students about local history, Small Talks is a series of short history events. A quarterly newsletter the Overlook reaches more than 600 members.

North House Folk School

500 West Highway 61 | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Offering diverse coursework ranging from sausage making to timber framing. Handcrafted, unique gift items including hand woven birch bark baskets, traditional rosemaling, nalbound hats and mittens. Get inspired by our large collection of craft books.

Offering diverse coursework ranging from sausage making to timber framing. Handcrafted, unique gift items including hand woven birch bark baskets, traditional rosemaling, nalbound hats and mittens. Get inspired by our large collection of craft books.

Quilt Corner

1007 Main Street | Beaver Bay, MN 55601

Wonderful quilt shop! Lots of fabric, great selection of books, supplies and gifts. Gorgeous handmade quilts. In the Beaver Bay mini-mall.

Wonderful quilt shop! Lots of fabric, great selection of books, supplies and gifts. Gorgeous handmade quilts. In the Beaver Bay mini-mall.

Cross River Heritage Center

7932 West Highway 61 | Schroeder, MN 55613

The building, with its distinguishing Tudor-style architecture, was originally built in 1929. Over time it has become a landmark, known by both tourists and local residents alike, as the heart of Schroeder. Now home of the Schroeder Area Historical Society,… see more

The building, with its distinguishing Tudor-style architecture, was originally built in 1929. Over time it has become a landmark, known by both tourists and local residents alike, as the heart of Schroeder. Now home of the Schroeder Area Historical Society, the Center houses a collection of oral histories, photographs and memorabilia.

Displays of fine art and craftwork by several local and regional artists can be enjoyed and purchased at the Cross River Heritage Center.

Eight Broadway Galleries

8 Boradway | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Working artist studios, demos, watercolor lessons. Local Minnesotan and Canadian artists. Lots of Northwoods images and handcrafted work.

Working artist studios, demos, watercolor lessons. Local Minnesotan and Canadian artists. Lots of Northwoods images and handcrafted work.

Arrowhead Center for the Arts

51 West 5th Street | Grand Maris, MN 55604

The Arrowhead Center for the Arts celebrates and promotes the arts, artists, and the uniquely creative culture of Minnesota’s North Shore and Arrowhead regions. The Arrowhead Center for the Arts is a managed by the school. The Center serves the… see more

The Arrowhead Center for the Arts celebrates and promotes the arts, artists, and the uniquely creative culture of Minnesota’s North Shore and Arrowhead regions. The Arrowhead Center for the Arts is a managed by the school. The Center serves the community and visitors with theatre, music, and an eclectic array of year-round cultural events.

joy and company

16 First Avenue West | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Featuring the work of local artists and craftsmen in a historic building. Housing a shared Maker’s Space, Nordic Wooden Ware, and the definitive source for art supplies. Create – Connect – Collaborate. Serving Indie Makers and Entrepreneurs.

Featuring the work of local artists and craftsmen in a historic building. Housing a shared Maker’s Space, Nordic Wooden Ware, and the definitive source for art supplies. Create – Connect – Collaborate. Serving Indie Makers and Entrepreneurs.

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

28 Moose Pond Drive | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Housed in the historic Chik-Wauk Lodge on beautiful Saganaga Lake, Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center presents the area’s cultural and natural history through interpretive and interactive exhibits. Learn about the Gunflint Trail’s prehistoric beginnings and people who helped shape today’s… see more

Housed in the historic Chik-Wauk Lodge on beautiful Saganaga Lake, Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center presents the area’s cultural and natural history through interpretive and interactive exhibits. Learn about the Gunflint Trail’s prehistoric beginnings and people who helped shape today’s unique, rural community, including Native Americans, Voyageurs, miners, loggers, resort owners and current residents.

Grand Portage National Monument

170 Mile Creek Road | Grand Portage, MN 55605

Learn Aniishinaabe art, culture and history. Directions: from Highway 61 MM 143.3 turn right onto Mile Creek Rd, and at the first cross street, turn left and continue 0.7 miles on Mile Creek Rd.

Learn Aniishinaabe art, culture and history.

Directions: from Highway 61 MM 143.3 turn right onto Mile Creek Rd, and at the first cross street, turn left and continue 0.7 miles on Mile Creek Rd.

Grand Marais Playhouse

51 West 5th Street | Grand Marais , MN 55604

The Grand Marais Playhouse is a non-profit community theater dedicated to offering high quality theater and educational opportunities. We value artistic challenge, diversity, community and collaboration. We believe that theater arts enrich the lives of our citizens, enhance the education… see more

The Grand Marais Playhouse is a non-profit community theater dedicated to offering high quality theater and educational opportunities. We value artistic challenge, diversity, community and collaboration. We believe that theater arts enrich the lives of our citizens, enhance the education of our children, strengthen the economic stability of our community and make Cook County a better place to live.

ronning’s lake carvings

130 South Avenue | Two Harbors, MN 55616

High quality plaques and custom tables in solid domestic hardwoods. Custom-made, hand-routed, no lake is too big or too small.

High quality plaques and custom tables in solid domestic hardwoods. Custom-made, hand-routed, no lake is too big or too small.

Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries

301 First Avenue West | Grand Marais, MN 55604

Open studios, working artists: Betsy Bowen Studio: woodcuts, books, local pottery What’s Upstairs? Stage: events, live music The New Stephan Hoglund Borderlands Gallery: art jewelry, wedding and portrait photography Ron’s World Rocks: silver and gems Wickwire Clayworks: handmade ceramic tile,… see more

Open studios, working artists:

  • Betsy Bowen Studio: woodcuts, books, local pottery
  • What’s Upstairs? Stage: events, live music
  • The New Stephan Hoglund Borderlands Gallery: art jewelry, wedding and portrait photography
  • Ron’s World Rocks: silver and gems
  • Wickwire Clayworks: handmade ceramic tile, pottery and more
Johnson Heritage Post

115 Wisconsin Street | Grand Marais, MN 55604

The nonprofit Art Gallery features local, regional, and national artists in revolving exhibits, as well as featuring a permanent collection of original art by Anna Johnson, an early 1900s artist.

The nonprofit Art Gallery features local, regional, and national artists in revolving exhibits, as well as featuring a permanent collection of original art by Anna Johnson, an early 1900s artist.

Lake County Historical Society

520 South Avenue | Two Harbors, MN 55616

1892 Two Harbors Light Station (seasonal) 1902 Dwan Building / 3M Museum (seasonal) 1907 Duluth & Iron Range Depot Museum Edna G tugboat

  • 1892 Two Harbors Light Station (seasonal)
  • 1902 Dwan Building / 3M Museum (seasonal)
  • 1907 Duluth & Iron Range Depot Museum
  • Edna G tugboat
Bay Area Historical Society

80 Outer Drive | Silver Bay, MN 55614

Open seasonally; a small collection of local artifacts and exhibits; acts as the Silver Bay Visitor Center, too. Hours Memorial Day to Labor Day :: 10am-4pm daily Labor Day to October 15 :: Friday- – Sunday, 10am-4pm

Open seasonally; a small collection of local artifacts and exhibits; acts as the Silver Bay Visitor Center, too.
Hours
Memorial Day to Labor Day :: 10am-4pm daily
Labor Day to October 15 :: Friday- – Sunday, 10am-4pm

Finland Minnesota heritage Site

5653 Little Marais Road | Finland, MN 55603

Orchard, gardens, hiking trail, picnic tables, museum, one-room schoolhouse, sauna, original homestead, and Visitor Center with gifts. events include guided tours mid-May through September and the Annual Finnish Tori Marketplace and Music, the second weekend in August.

Orchard, gardens, hiking trail, picnic tables, museum, one-room schoolhouse, sauna, original homestead, and Visitor Center with gifts. events include guided tours mid-May through September and the Annual Finnish Tori Marketplace and Music, the second weekend in August.

North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum

7136 Highway 61 | Tofte, MN 55615

The North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum welcomes tour groups, the culturally curious traveler, families and children of all ages and even the virtual visitor from across the globe. If you’re on Lake Superior’s North Shore, you don’t want to miss… see more

The North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum welcomes tour groups, the culturally curious traveler, families and children of all ages and even the virtual visitor from across the globe. If you’re on Lake Superior’s North Shore, you don’t want to miss out on the experience of the unique maritime heritage engrained in the landscape and people who call this country home.
Open 9am-3pm Sunday through Thursday, and 9am-5pm Friday and Saturday