12 10, 2021

Grand Marais Lighthouse

2021-10-12T16:54:37+00:00Grand Marais, History|

The lighthouse that sits in Grand Marais has become a destination for many visitors in the area. If you’ve been to Grand Marais, it’s likely you’ve walked along the breakwall to visit the square pyramidal structure, but do you know the history behind it? The Grand Marais lighthouse was built in 1885 on the eastern end of the harbor breakwater. In the year or two prior, construction was completed on the piers that guarded the harbor entry. These new piers required a light and fog signal to guide mariners through the opening, so congress allotted just over $9,500 for a [...]

12 10, 2021

Grand Marais Breakwall

2021-10-13T15:59:50+00:00Grand Marais, History|

What looks just like a bunch of rocks in the middle of the water is actually one of Grand Marais’ best attractions! What spurred the development of the Grand Marais Breakwall and the Lighthouse you might ask? Well, in 1881 the Schooner Stranger wrecked just outside of the Grand Marais Harbor. Unfortunately, all of the crewmen were killed in this wreck. The people knew something had to be done to make it more safe. In 1882, the development of the first breakwater and lighthouse began. The breakwall was to be stretched around 300 feet of rocks of all sizes. They [...]

25 02, 2021

Split Rock Lighthouse

2021-02-25T16:53:04+00:00Activities & Attractions, Beaver Bay/Silver Bay/Finland, History, Two Harbors/Castle Danger|

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most iconic buildings on Lake Superior's North Shore. Now decommissioned, the lighthouse has been beautifully preserved and is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. Read on to learn more about the history of the lighthouse. Why A Lighthouse at Split Rock? Starting on November 27, 1905, a massive storm, known as the Mataafa Storm, hit the Great Lakes region. The storm caused a total of 29 shipwrecks on Lake Superior during a two-day period.  One of those ships, the Madeira, sank near the area known as Split Rock.  Recognizing a need [...]

20 01, 2021

Grand Portage National Monument

2021-02-15T18:28:27+00:00History, Hovland/Grand Portage|

Grand Portage National Monument is a United States National Monument located on the north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Portage, MN. It is an Ojibwe monument that forms a bridge between time, people, and culture. You'll learn about and explore the partnership between Grand Portage Ojibwe and the North West Company during the fur trade. While there you can see historic cooking and baking demonstrations and learn about fur trade history, and area history. History of the Grand Portage Known by the Ojibwe as the Gitchi Onigaming or "Great Carrying Place" the 8.5 mile portage trail allowed American Indians [...]

16 11, 2020

King of Neptune Statue

2021-02-22T17:05:43+00:00Duluth, History|

Once upon a time, a 26-foot gold-colored statue once reigned over Canal Park in Duluth. A popular tourist attraction, The King of Neptune Statue was gifted to Duluth in 1959 to honor the city's designation as a Foreign Trade Zone and the furthest inland freshwater seaport in all of North America. Then, in just a matter of minutes, a freak accident destroyed the statue forever. What happened to the King of Neptune, and how did Canal Park look when he was around? A Prized History In 1959 the Modern Seaway opened which allowed Duluth to be Designated as a Foreign [...]

5 11, 2020

SS Edmund Fitzgerald


The SS Edmund Fitzgerald made history on June 7th, 1958 when it made its inaugural trip on the Great Lakes.  Measuring in at 729 feet long, it was the largest ship to sail the Great Lakes at that time. She became known as the “Pride of the American Side”. Her mere existence was a sign of post-Great Depression progress for the iron ore shipping industry. The Pride of Lake Superior She was a spectacle and visitors would often flock to the Duluth Harbor to see her coming and going. Spectators simply wanted to catch a glimpse of the “giant” ship.  [...]

2 10, 2020

Northern Lights Cottage

2021-02-19T22:25:48+00:00Grand Marais, History|

Curtis and Adair Erickson and the Northern Lights Cottage Newlyweds Curtis and Adair Erickson moved to Grand Marais late in 1937 to begin their new life together. Curtis’ job was placing, managing, and maintaining slot machines, known as “amusement machines”, in any gas station, bar, restaurant, resort, and even car dealerships who were willing to share in gambling profits by having machines located within their establishments. The Ericksons set down roots in Grand Marais and built a cabin we now know as Northern Lights Cottage. The Early Years When the couple first moved to town they rented a small cabin located [...]

1 05, 2020

Organized Crime


Organized Crime on the North Shore The North Shore of Lake Superior and areas up the Gunflint Trail served as a “secret hideaway” for many notorious Chicago-area gangsters of the 1920s and 30s. The area was also home to one of the most prolific bank robbers in US history. Being so far north, far away from major cities, and with Lake Superior in its backyard, the North Shore was the perfect place for making moonshine, running illegal liquor, and just a great place in general for someone to hide out, when needed. Al Capone and the Lutsen Resort Fish House [...]

3 01, 2020

SS William A Irvin

2021-02-25T18:28:35+00:00Activities & Attractions, Duluth, History, Spooky Places on the North Shore|

The SS William A Irvin is a freighter that was named after William A Irving The Vice President of U.S. Steel. She was a flagship of the company fleet from her launch in the depths of the depression in 1938 until 1975 and then was a general workhorse of the fleet until her retirement in 1978. The SS William A. Irvin is a well-maintained example of a classic laker, and a prime example of a straight decker, as she has no self-unloading system. History She was launched 21 November 1937 at the yards of the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio. [...]

2 01, 2020

Glensheen Mansion

2021-10-19T16:35:52+00:00Activities & Attractions, Duluth, History|

Glensheen Mansion sits on 22 acres of beautiful land in Duluth right on Lake Superior. This mansion has 39 rooms, and is an incredible 27,000 square feet.  It sounds like this might be describing a luxury Lake Superior resort, but it's actually a single-family home.  By far, the Glensheen Mansion is the most widely recognized home on Lake Superior's North Shore. History of the Glensheen Mansion Chester Congdon spared no expense when constructing his family's home and landscaping beginning in 1905.  Renowned architect Clarence H. Johnson and landscape architect Charles W. Leavitt took Chester Congdon's ideas and turned them into [...]

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