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


  • 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 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

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