Interpretive Center & Gift Shop
Small, rotating interpretive displays on the life of Dorothy can also be viewed here free of charge.
Also inside is a spacious restroom with potable water.
Reservations are not required but we request groups of eight (8) or more call ahead.
Large families or tour groups are encouraged to call ahead and schedule a group tour so we may provide the best service possible.
Dorothy’s Winter Cabin
As you continue into her kitchen and dining area, imagine stoking the wood stove, entertaining visitors with piping hot coffee, and crafting her famous Christmas ornaments by lamplight. This cabin features personal items, memorabilia and clothing of Dorothy’s as well as pictures of Dorothy with friends, family and visitors to Knife Lake. Join a guided tour for a comprehensive story of Dorothy’s life.
Point Cabin Exhibit – Dorothy Molter: Living in the Boundary Waters
Funding for the exhibit was provided through a grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), as well as through generous private donations.
Cady Cabin – Bob Cary Exhibit
Bob moved to Ely, MN from Illinois in 1966 and co-founded Canadian Border Outfitters, a canoe trip outfitter situated on Moose Lake, 17 miles northeast of town. While working for the Chicago Daily News in 1962, Bob became friends with Dorothy Molter, eventually chronicling her 56 years of living in the Boundary Waters with his well-known book The Root Beer Lady. Bob also published an article for the International Press Association, which was instrumental in garnering support for Dorothy to stay on her property after the Wilderness Act of 1948.
In addition to The Root Beer Lady, Bob Cary wrote, illustrated and published several other books and was the host of the WELY radio show “Camp Talk.”
More information on Bob Cary.
Birds’ Landing at Dorothy’s – Available year-round
Bird-watching is a fascinating hobby. There is always something new to see and something new to learn, and never a dull moment. I don’t envy city dwellers who miss all this.
A remarkable assortment of birds visited the feeders around Dorothy’s home on Knife Lake, and she easily went through 1,000 pounds of seed each season. Dorothy particularly enjoyed sharing her passion for birds with the many people that visited her.
With its location between the tall red pines of the Jon Rozman Memorial Forest and the meadow-like environment of the Ely Cemetery, the Museum is ideally situated to attract a wide range of birds throughout the year.
The museum also offers a selection of field guides for on-site reference and a free, take-home brochure featuring bird food recipes.
Dorothy’s Discovery Trail – Available year-round
A nature guide is available free of charge, which provides information about the coniferous biome of the Northwoods by pointing out specific features of the landscape along the trail. Pick up the trail guide on the north side of the Interpretive Center, next to the door.
Dorothy’s Discovery Trail Backpack is also available for use with admission and includes a variety of field guides, tools and suggested activities to help you learn more about the natural world.
The trail is on natural soil with some rocks and roots exposed. Pets are welcome if leashed, well-behaved and deposits are picked up.
Dorothy Molter’s life in what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is highlighted in this kiosk located inside the U.S. Forest Service Kawishiwi Ranger Station’s Northwoods history and ecology exhibit. This exhibit is free and offers a wide range of Superior National Forest/BWCAW information with staff available to answer questions about this unique area of the country.
Located just east of the Dorothy Molter Museum, across the street from the International Wolf Center, in a gorgeous LEED building.
Creating the Boundary Waters: 25 Objects, 25 Stories
Donuts at Dorothy’s & ‘Beers with Bob will be held on August 6, 2017 to honor the current exhibit, Bob Cary’s Office. Learn more