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The “Dire Wolf”

The Dire Wolf, also known as the fearsome dog, is an extinct species and is perhaps one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores in North America. Its long, sharp fangs and huge body that is considerably larger than your average gray wolf makes it a unique animal that you would never want to mess with. Although it has been extinct for almost 10,000 years now, when a trucker driving on Highway 61 hit and killed a large-bodied wolf, he couldn’t help but make a call to the DNR to have them check it out.

 

When the DNR arrived, they found the wolf to be so massive that they called in State Park personnel and naturalists of Gooseberry Falls State Park to take a look. Because the wolf was so large and was killed in the location where dire wolves used to roam, they requested that it be mounted in the new interpretative center for all to see. In fact, the wolf was so big that even the taxidermist could not find a mock body to fit what they had discovered. He eventually found an Alaskan wolf body, one of the largest in the world to fit the body.

 

Today, you can find the wolf displayed at Gooseberry Falls State Park in their interpretative center. Although its behind glass, the beautiful creature still gives people a little scare when they realize how enormous the wolves can grow to be.

Posted on June 6th, 2017 in Uncategorized |


North House Folk School

Looking to enrich lives and build a stronger community, the North House Folk School brings instructors from around the world to teach traditional northern crafts on the shore of Lake Superior. Begun by local citizens and volunteers, the concept of a folk school was brought to the attention of locals and received many positive responses to course offerings including Inuit kayak building, bowl carving, and canoe paddle making. Soon, the increased enthusiasm about the school lead the volunteer Board of Directors to found the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota in January of 1977.

 

Today, the school still rests in the same spot, despite surviving fires, crashes, and the numerous winter storms that have taken a toll on the old building. Experts come from all over to teach and talk, offering classes that range from a few hours to the entire week. The choice of classes is endless: basketry, blacksmithing, knitting, sailing, woodcarving, yurt-building– you name it! They also host many events throughout the year that spur from the wide range of classes they offer. Tip: book in advance—the demand for these classes is high!

 

The best part about the school is how easy it is to enjoy. Many of the attractions are free, but at the low cost of $25 for an individual and $50 for an entire family membership, you can enjoy all the benefits of the school, plus the several events that they host feeling like you’ve helped a great establishment teach another day. Being a non-profit is not easy, and it’s no walk in the park to reach out for help, but the North house Folk School is something that is worth giving to. For more information about the school and the classes they offer, visit their homepage at https://northhouse.org/

 


 

Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on May 30th, 2017 in Uncategorized |


Rumors of Gold: Buchanan Settlement Marker

For years, there were rumors going around that the North Shore was stock full of gold, copper, and silver, drawing settlers from the east. After the second treaty of La Pointe in 1854, when most of the North Shore was ceded to the US Government, work began to start planning to plot new town sites along the Shore. Although many of these sites never became more than ideas, one of the three that did was Buchanan.

 

The plans for Buchanan’s construction were soon laid out and crews began working in late 1856. Before long, a boarding house, hotel, and several saloons popped up in the area and settlers began to swarm in. A dock was even added soon after the construction began to allow boats to come by water. Eventually, it became clear that the promised mineral abundance wasn’t what it was expected to be and the financial crisis of 1858 crippled the town’s population. The town soon became the first ghost town on the North Shore.

 

 

Although the town itself does not exist today, there still is a way you can feel its presence and learn more about its history. The Buchanan Settlement Marker is a historical landmark that gives visitors the opportunity to feel like they are standing where something could have been. Today a stone marker indicates where the hotel, saloons, and dock lived many years ago,  often drawing very large crowds. You can find it on Scenic Highway 61, about 1.5 miles south of Knife River.

Posted on May 22nd, 2017 in Uncategorized |


Madeira

On November 28, 1905, the schooner-barge called the Madeira was making one of its routine trips on Lake Superior (under tow of the steamer William Edenborn) and found itself in the middle of a violent storm. Winds were blowing around 70 to 80 miles per hour with swells significantly larger than ships of the time could handle. The captain of the steamer that was towing the Madeira quickly realized he could not fight it and cut the Madeira loose.

 

Shortly after the Madeira had been cut loose, it crashed into the cliff named Gold Rock (pictured above). One of the crewmen was able to jump to safety, bringing along eight others of his crew. Two days later, the tugboat Edna G was able to rescue the remaining stranded crewmen and bring them to safety. Only one of the men aboard the ship went down with the ship. The brutal storm, which became known as the “Mataffa Storm”, ended up damaging twenty other vessels on Lake Superior during its duration. This ultimately lead to the creation of the Split Rock Lighthouse to aide with traveling through these storms.

 

In 1955, divers first explored the wreck of the Madeira, but found no treasure on board. A salvage company soon followed and were able to remove the anchors and the ship’s wheel, which were eventually sold to the Split Rock Trading Post. The anchor can be seen today outside the visitor center at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Despite all the dismantling of the ship, today the Madeira still lies at the bottom of the Lake and is often investigated by divers from around the world. A special diver parking lot has even been provided for shore diving (located north of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park main entrance on MN-61). If you’re not into diving, it’s worth driving to the parking lot. Sometimes on a sunny day the wreck can be seen from the surrounding cliffs.


 

Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on May 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized |


The Grand Marais Art Colony

What started as an eight-week summer course has now prospered into the longest lived art colony in Minnesota. Since 1947, the Grand Marais Art Colony has been living up to its motto of “Nurturing Creativity on the North Shore.” Cultivating a relationship between outdoor inspiration and artistic pursuit, the art colony lets artists, experienced or not, step outside their comfort zone to create art that’s inspired by the wilderness on the North Shore and Lake Superior.

 

The art colony features year-round art classes including hands-on activities, artist talks and demonstrations, high-quality studio access, and outstanding events and exhibits. The facilities offered include visual arts, clay, glass, and print making studios. Several different instructors provide skills and expertise to make your time with them meaningful, while also providing you with a unique souvenir to bring home and show off to friends and family.

 

Classes are offered year-round to any person of interest.  A list of upcoming events can be found on their website here.

 


 

Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at www.cascadevacationrentals.com.

 


 

Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

Posted on May 8th, 2017 in Uncategorized |