Historical Buildings in Cook County

Picture of the Grand Marais Art Colony building

Once this building fed people’s souls as the original
St. John’s Catholic Church. Now it feeds people’s
souls with the Grand Marais Art Colony.

This is the weekend for the Lake Superior Storm Festival and we are excited about all of the fantastic events being held throughout Cook County. One of the really wonderful things about this festival is that it proves Cook County is a great place to visit any time of the year. In fact, I want to add to that sentiment by highlighting a few of the unique venues you can visit here in our northern playground.

Picture of the Betsy Bowen Art Studio

Head over to Betsy Bowen’s Art Studio
to see some amazing woodcuts.

The area has many interesting art galleries and shops but if it is a unique place you are looking for, how about the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum in Tofte? You can look back at the history of the area and how the commercial fishermen survived in the early days. In Grand Marais, the Cook County Historical Society has four separate locations for you to see more history of the early days. Betsy Bowen’s Studio is a beautiful old building that also has a lot of history . Stop in to see her woodcuts and look at this fascinating building. Another interesting building is the Grand Marais Art Colony building. This is right down the street from Betsy Bowen’s studio and is in the original St. John’s Catholic Church.

Picture of the Cook County Historical Society

Stop by the Cook County Historical Society on
Friday or Saturday to learn more about
the fascinating history of Cook County.

There is a pattern here that becomes evident: religion played a large role in the lives of the early settlers. You see that once again when driving to Grand Portage and visit the National Monument, that being Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Next to the “newer” church you can see the original log church which is the oldest existing log church in Minnesota, as it was built in 1865. But while you are in Grand Portage, visit the National Monument, which takes you back to the early days of fur trading and teaches the history of our first inhabitants, the Ojibwe people.

P.S. Looking at all these historical places is a lot of work! If you need to take a break, Cook County chefs have been preparing some incredible specials for the Storm Fest. The Pie Place Cafe has created a brand new pie called the Boreal Cyclone (whipped peanut butter mouse on chocolate ganache and pretzel crumb crust, topped with whipped cream, pretzel sticks and peanuts). The Gunflint Mercantile is offering a special edition fudge. We don’t know any details yet, but we may have to investigate.

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