History + Culture
Take a carriage ride or walk down the brick-paved streets of old downtown. Visit antique shops and museums showcasing the arts and artifacts of the golden age of rail and sail. Tour historic mansions to marvel at the stately architecture and manicured gardens of a bygone era.
HISTORY + CULTURE
The listings below include all types of History + Culture attractions options in alphabetical order with those in the city of Duluth displayed first followed by those that are outside city limits.
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Duluth Children's Museum
Duluth, MN 55806
The Duluth Children's Museum has educated and inspired children for over 80 years. We realize that play is essential to our positive mental, physical, social and emotional development. Play is so important to child development that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has determined that play is a basic right of every child. From a dinosaur dig to balls and ramps, our creative and interactive exhibits and programs are designed to spark children's curiosity through play, learning and discovery. The Duluth Children's Museum educates children in the fields of science, technology, math and science developing creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Daily Admission: $9.00/person ages 1 and up
Duluth, MN 55802
In 1859, Fitger’s beer ran so cold a stein had to be heated before the beer could be enjoyed. Today within the bluestone walls of the renovated brewery, discover the Fitger’s Museum. See the copper kettle and memorabilia from what was once the most successful brewery in the state. Enjoy a trip
back in time to the brewing days. Historic pictures and advertising can be seen in the Fitger’s Museum and throughout Fitger's. Shopping, dining and the Historic Fitger’s Inn. The charming Fitger’s Museum is free.
Covered parking and Lakewalk access.
Open Mon-Fri/10am-5pm year-round.
Admission is free.
Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate
Duluth, MN 55804
(218) 726-8910 • (888) 454-GLEN
Feel the Presence of the Past
Historic Glensheen offers grand opulence and regional history at its 39-room mansion located on our seven-acre, lakeside estate. With its intact 1908 collection and lively tour incorporating family stories, no wonder itï¿½s been voted Duluthï¿½s #1 attraction and #1 museum by readers of Duluth/Superior Magazine.
In addition to mansion tours, visitors may also take the new Grand Gardens & Trails tour. This guided walk satisfies history buffs and green thumbs alike with Chester Congdonï¿½s vision for his sustainable estate. Enjoy the handcrafted details, a stroll over our stone bridge or just sit in one of our Adirondack chairs by Lake Superior.
Open year-round; call or visit the Web site for days and hours.
Click on the following link to view the Glensheen Historic Estate video. Glensheen Historic Estate.
History & Sightseeing Tours with The Duluth Experience
Duluth, MN 55805
The Duluth History & Sightseeing Tours are based on well-researched content and designed to take you back in time where you'll gain a unique perspective on how Duluth was discovered by early Native Americans and European settlers. You’ll explore how the people of Duluth labored to build its industries during economic booms and persevered during the hardships of economic busts. This truly is a town of character with a story that fills volumes. The Duluth Experience will guide you into those stories and help you develop a personal relationship with Duluth’s past, present, and future. *Bus tours and walking tours available! Visit their website for details and availability.
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
Duluth, MN 55805
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum exhibits historic manuscripts curated by David Karpeles from his private collection. Karpeles, graduated from high school in Duluth and amassed one of the largest private manuscript collections in the world. He operates 13 museums across the country displaying manuscripts from his collections among them. Past exhibitions included the Bill of Rights, Emancipation Proclamation, Mark Twain manuscripts, and the history of baseball. Permanent collections include model ships, and 3000 year-old Egyptian sandstone carvings. Admission is free; the Duluth Museum is open Tuesday to Friday 10-4pm and Saturday and Sunday 11 to 4pm.
Bill Pagelâ€™s collection of Dylan manuscripts were displayed by special arrangement in May 2016. The summer 2016 exhibition features manuscripts about the evolution of the telephone system. In addition, the Karpeles will feature special events to complement the Tall Ships Festival. The fall exhibition will focus on the War of 1812.
St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center, The Depot
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 727-8025 • (888) 733-5833
Today, heritage steam locomotives
and their antique, gilded, wooden
coaches wait trackside in the Lake
Superior Railroad Museum, home
of the Midwest’s largest indoor
train collection. (See Lake Superior
Railroad Museum and North Shore
Scenic Railroad.) Also, walk the
streets of Depot Square, a realistic,
life-size depiction of downtown
Duluth at the turn of the century.
One low-priced admission ticket lets
you enjoy the railroad museum plus
the St. Louis Historical Society’s
exhibits featuring regional history,
and the Duluth Art Institute’s two galleries. The Depot is also home to the Duluth Playhouse Theater and three other area performing arts organizations
including the Minnesota Ballet,
Matinee Musicale and Arrowhead
Chorale. Two unique museum stores
offer rare items relating to the
building’s past and current use.
Summer Hours: Memorial Day- Labor Day/9:30am-6pm daily.
Winter Hours: Mon-Sat/ 10am-5pm; Sun 1-5pm
Call for group rates, guided tours, and special exhibit information.
Tom's Logging Camp
Duluth, MN 55804
Visit our replicated early logging camp with original equipment. Tour includes 8 museum buildings, gravity house, feeding tame animals and rainbow trout, and a nature trail. The gift shop has a generous jewelry selection, moccasins, pottery gifts and souvenirs. Our sandwich shop roasts our meats, uses fabulous local breads, and has homemade soup and old-fashioned ice cream. Open daily May 1-MEA Weekend in October. $5/adults; $4/children (ages 6-15); 5 and under free.
Fairlawn Mansion Museum/Superior Public Museums
Superior, WI 54880
Fairlawn was built in 1890 as the family estate of Martin Pattison, lumber and mining millionaire and 3-term mayor of Superior. This 42-room mansion recalls Superior’s boomtown days, as well as its unique, 40-year history as a Children’s Home. Today’s visitors will be impressed by the fully restored exterior and main floor rooms, with exotic woodwork, lush fabrics and spectacular, handpainted ceilings. Open year-round. $9 for adults; $7.50 for seniors (62+) and students; children 5 and under free.
Judy Garland Birthplace & Museum
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
(218) 327-9276 • (800) 664-JUDY
Tour the restored 1925 historic home where America’s Treasure, Judy Garland, spent her formative years. At the adjacent Museum, see the carriage used in the Wizard of Oz, once owned by Abraham Lincoln. Enjoy a performance or documentary screening. Memorial Garden with Gazebo. Shop in Professor Marvel’s store. Open daily Memorial Day weekend through Sept. April & May open Mon - Sat. Call for late autumn & winter hours. General admission for all ages—$8. One Campus—Many Attractions (includes Children’s Discovery Museum). Under age 1-free.
Minnesota Historical Society North West Company Fur Post
Pine City, MN 55063
Visit the reconstructed North West
Company wintering post on the Snake
River. The original wintering post was
built in 1804. A 40-minute guided tour
of the post and Ojibwe encampment
leaves the visitor center every half hour. Last tour begins at 4pm daily. Exhibits in the visitor center explore the greater fur trade story.
May: Saturdays, 10a.m. to 5 p.m.
Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day: Monday and Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, Noon to 5 p.m. Open Summer Holidays.
September: Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, Noon to 5 p.m.
September thru May group tours available by reservation.
$9/adults; $7/seniors; $6/children 6-17; free for children 5 & under. Handicap accessible.
Old Firehouse & Police Museum
Superior, WI 54880
Built in 1898, the firehouse displays historic firefighting equipment and the history of the Superior Police Department, including memorabilia and artifacts. Also home of Wisconsin’s Police & Fire Hall of Fame, honoring Wisconsin police officers and firefighters for outstanding acts of bravery and community service.
Open seasonally. Always Free Admission.
Stairs leading to second floor.
S.S. Meteor Maritime Museum/Superior Public Museums
Superior, WI 54880
The last of the whalebacks! Launched right here in the Twin Ports in 1896 and designed by local inventor Captain Alexander McDougall, this uniquely shaped ship carried a variety of cargos on the Great Lakes until the 1970’s. The tour takes you through the pilot house, crews’ quarters and engine room, housing the original and impressive turn of the century triple expansion steam engine. Located on Barkers Island.
Hours: Open mid-May through Mid-October. Call for tour times.
$6.00 adults, $5.00 students/seniors, Children 5 and under are free.
Stairs & ladders throughout the ship.
Split Rock Lighthouse
Two Harbors, MN 55616
Split Rock is a "must-see" attraction
for travelers to the Minnesota
North Shore. It is one of America's
best-preserved and most recognized
Tours are offered daily in summer and the Visitor Center offers displays, a film in the Theater and shopping in the Museum Store. May 15-Oct 15, Daily 10am-6pm; Oct 16-May 14, Thurs-Mon 11am-4pm (visitor center/store only).
Admission: $10 Adults,$8 Seniors (65+), $6 children (5-17).