More than 30 years ago, a gentleman named  Mark Hansen moved to the North Shore to build birch bark canoes. Once he arrived, a connection was made to the area, magic happened and Hansen stayed to build one of the most vibrant non-profit organizations in Minnesota: North House Folk School.

Traditionally speaking, a folk school is a place where people come to learn new skills or expand the knowledge they have on a certain trade or concept.

On the local level, North House Folk School brings instructors from around the world to teach traditional northern crafts. Started by Mark and a collection of other local and regional residents, the concept of a folk school was brought to the attention of the community and received many positive responses. Many changes have come since North House came to life in the late 1970s. Namely, it has expanded, become widely popular, and impacted the lives of thousands of people.

The school’s campus is located in the Grand Marais Harbor. Students and instructors come from all over the world to teach, learn, talk, share, and create. The choice of classes is endless. Learn basketry, blacksmithing, knitting, sailing, woodcarving, yurt-building, sausage-making, crafting jewelry with local stones and the list goes.

In a typical year, North House hosts about 350 different classes, all of them led by more than 100 regional artists who work as instructors at the Folk School. They also host many events throughout the year that spur from the wide range of classes they offer.

North House Folk School students receive a 10% discount at most Cascade Vacation Rentals homes during their class stay. You must book with a rental agent to get a discount. Proof of class registration is required.

Watch It

The Exploring the North Shore Podcast did a Timber Frame “Try It” class as part of our “Ladies’ Day in Grand Marais” video.