History Speaks

Henry Mayhew in Grand Marais

History Speaks is an exploration and presentation of aspects of our regions past. Through shared stories with familiar voices, we delve into our regions rich history to help foster an appreciation and understanding of the community in which we find ourselves today. This series utilizes archival tape, documents and first-hand interviews to help paint a picture of events, places, and people important in our areas past.

Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Check out other programs and features funded in part with support from the Heritage Fund.

 
What's On:
Petra Boostrom stands in front of furs collected from her trapline.

History Speaks: The Gunflint Trail

Turn off the beaten path and head up the Gunflint Trail for this edition of History Speaks from producer Ada Igoe.


The Art Colony building today

History Speaks features the story of the Art Colony studio building

Listen to the latest edition of WTIP’s ongoing series, History Speaks, first broadcast on Thursday, August 29.


 
A crowd gathers in front of the U.S. Forest Service office in Grand Marais in April 1978 (Cook County Historical Society)

History Speaks: The Boundary Waters

Today, more than 200,000 people visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness each year.


Laura and her pet moose (Cook County Historical Society)

History Speaks: Laura Alice Hogeboom Harriman

Laura Alice Hogeboom Harriman was a true pioneer; a woman in the wilderness. Hard and exhausting as life was for early settlers in Hovland, Minnesota, Laura thrived.


 
Dakota War (Courtesy of Minnesota History Center)

A Clash of Cultures: Understanding the Dakota War of 1862

On August 17, 1862 a group of four young Dakota men on a hunting expedition killed five settlers who lived along the Minnesota river in what is now southwest Minnesota...and a war began.


The restored Edisen Fishery on Isle Royale

History Speaks: Isle Royale National Park

In this extended edition of History Speaks, we take a closer look at the creation of Isle Royale National Park and its effect on the people and culture of the island.


 
Earl and Ethel Leng inside Leng's Fountain

History Speaks: Recollections of Leng’s Fountain

Leng’s Fountain was a cornerstone of the community for many years. It was a true old fashioned soda fountain. You could order phosphates, ice-cream or stop in for coffee and a paper.


The trestle bridge on Gunflint Lake at the narrows

History Speaks: Rails, Mines, Madams, and Crooks

Did you know there was a rail line from Thunder Bay that traveled across the country’s border and went to a mine near the end of the Gunflint Trail? Listen as WTIP uncovers the story “Rails, Mines, Madams, and Crooks” as part of our ongoing History Speaks series. It’s a real life tale full of intrigue, mystery and wonder. Learn about the famous Madam Mag Matthews and her house of ill-repute located near Gunflint Lake, the Italian laborers that endured many hardships to build the rail line, and the crooked businessmen who secured funding for the project in some questionable ways. We’ll also take a look at the new Centennial Trail recently completed by the USFS  that helps preserve this important story.


 
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The Blowdown: A Ten Year Remembrance

The famous storm known as “the blowdown,” swept across northern Minnesota on the Fourth of July, 1999. Straight-line winds blew with category four hurricane force through 477,000 acres of the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In this special remembrance, you’ll hear the voices of folks who weathered the storm that marks our landscape to this day.

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Voices from Mineral Center

Voices from Mineral Center tells part of the story of an early pioneer settler village in Cook County known as Mineral Center. The story focuses on the community’s one room schoolhouse, the Birchwood School, as remembered by its last teacher, the late Gertrude Linnell, and one of her students, Nona Smith.