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History Speaks

Henry Mayhew in Grand Marais

History Speaks is an exploration and presentation of aspects of our region's past. Through shared stories with familiar voices, we delve into our region's 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 area's 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:
Artist's Point

History Speaks: Artist's Point

Artist's Point is a landmark in Grand Marais, a distinctive spit of land that extends into Lake Superior.


Billy Magee with Ernest Oberholtzer

History Speaks: Ernest Oberholtzer - Advocate for the Quetico-Superior

Ernest Oberholtzer was a quiet man who lived most of his life on an island in Rainy Lake.

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.