Rare Finds

Rediscover the Arrowhead! Hit the Road for a Tour of 10 Historical Treasures.

All across Minnesota's Arrowhead there are countless tales of the people and artifacts that convey our past, from a prehistoric tool of the earliest natives to a child’s toy saved from the 1918 fire. WDSE•WRPT, in partnership with ten regional historical societies and museums, brings history to life in their latest documentary.

Rare Finds tells the stories that mark the changes in time. These pivotal accounts are preserved, thanks to the work of our local historical societies and museums. Rare Finds hits the road and makes ten stops across the Arrowhead region, spotlighting treasures along the way.


Watch the full documentary:


St. Louis County Historical Society - Duluth

Eastman Johnson’s art depicts the native Ojibwe women in original dress. Johnson created the collection of paintings and drawings during his time living in the Northland in the mid 1800’s. The museum collection includes the outfit worn in his famous paintings and sketches.


Esko Historical Society Museum - Esko

In the late 1800s, Finnish settlers formed a community under a common need and desire. To ground grain into flour, the settlers united to build the Palkie Grist Mill. The mill was dismantled and moved from the Midway River to become the current centerpiece of the town’s history.


The Carlton County Historical Society - Cloquet

In 1918, sparks on local railroads and dry conditions led to a massive fire leaving much of Carlton Country devastated, and hundreds of lives lost. A toy bear, saved by a little girl as she fled the fire, sits in the Carlton County Historical Society. The girl’s son shares his mother’s story with Rare Finds.


Minnesota Historical Society - Grand Rapids

The Forest History Center shares a film of the last log drive in Minnesota. An interpretive display of the floating shack used in the drive to stop and feed the men, is also seen. Rare Finds takes you along on the historic log drive from decades ago.


Greyhound Bus Museum - Hibbing

The Greyhound Bus system is often recognized as an American icon, serving nearly 25 million passengers each year. The Greyhound Bus Museum hosts an amazing display of original buses from the company, dating back to when Greyhound was founded nearly a century ago in Hibbing. Rare Finds talks with the man who helped make the museum a reality, and still follows his passion there decades later.


Minnesota Museum of Mining-Chisholm - Chisholm

When the Great Depression left many miners out of work, numerous men were employed building a park, wall, and rock castle with native glacial till. The unique castle, part of the depression era WPA projects, now serves as the Minnesota Museum of Mining. A descendent of one of the stone cutters, shares his father’s story.


Dorothy Molter Museum - Ely

One of the Northwood’s most colorful individuals, Dorothy Molter was the last non-indigenous person to live in the Boundary Waters. The Root Beer lady, as she is often coined, lived on the Isle of Pines for more than 56 years and hosted thousands of visitors each year. Rare Finds learns about her legacy and tours her original cabins at the Dorothy Molter Museum.


The Cook County Historical Society - Grand Marais

A piece of area history, the original lens from the Grand Marais lighthouse is replaced after nearly a century of operation. Rare Finds documents the delicate removal of the lens from the lighthouse, and the society’s plans to build a display for the historic, glass artifact.


North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum - Tofte

The work of Norwegian immigrant commercial fishermen was dangerous and isolated. Exhibits along the Lakewalk outside the museum give recognition to these brave fishermen and tell the stories of how their families lived.


Lake County Historical Society - Two Harbors

One of Lake County’s tribal artifacts includes a stone anvil found at Knife River. It is believed that prehistoric natives used the anvil to tool copper. Rare Finds takes a closer look into the history of the ancient implement.


Pledge online and get the DVD or a museum pass

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment