The Dorothy Molter Museum preserves and interprets Northwoods wilderness heritage through learning opportunities inspired by Dorothy Molter, the last non-indigenous resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

As a private, non-profit organization representing part of the unique and rich history of northeastern Minnesota, the Dorothy Molter Museum strives to not only honor the legacy of its namesake but also, be an active and positive member of the Ely Area community and family of Minnesota museums.

For information about visiting the museum, please click here.

Community Benefits Statement

Professional Credibility

  • Partner with the Minnesota Historical Society and Women in History Interest Affinity Group and the American Association for State and Local History
  • Board Treasurer for the Minnesota Association of Museums
  • Member of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM)
  • Provides an internship opportunity annually for students interested in small museum management, collections care and historical interpretation
  • Recipient of 2013 AMM Promising Leadership Award

Promoting Our Heritage

  • Promotes and preserves Ely’s rich cultural and natural history
  • Secured Dorothy Molter as a “Woman of History” on Google, Inc’s Field Trip application for smart phones and tablets
  • Secured an oral history grant through the Minnesota Historical Society Legacy Grant Program to capture and preserve the stories of Dorothy’s friends and supporters
  • Secured grants for photo and archival collections preservation through the Minnesota Historical Society
  • Established and maintains Birds’ Landing at Dorothy’s for community access to local bird watching opportunities

Downtown Economic Stimulation

  • Instrumental in bringing the 2017 Minnesota Association of Museums Annual Conference to Ely
  • Is a wholesale distributor of nationally-known Ely-centric product Dorothy’s Isle of Pines Root Beer
  • Distributes Isle of Pines Root Beer to over 20 Ely Area businesses as well as in Duluth, Brainerd Lakes Area and the Twin Cities thus promoting Ely to greater Minnesota
  • Promotes Ely tourism through advertising in regional outlets
  • Hosts a minimum of three free community events per year during peak tourist season
  • Participates in the Ely Blueberry and Harvest Moon Festivals at Whiteside Park
  • Offers Camp KWITCHURBELIAKIN and Northwoods Nature Hikes in conjunction with Tuesday Night Live
  • Hosts annual fundraising dinner at the Grand Ely Lodge


  • Hosts Whirlwind! as part of the annual Ely Winter Festival in collaboration with Vermilion Community College’s Wilderness Program
  • Partnership with Ely-Winton Historic Society to premiere the never-before-seen John Hoff, Jr. Wind Sled Film
  • Proud to provide donation items for local youth and organizational fundraisers and events
  • Coordinates volunteer projects both for museum and community improvement with organizations including Outward Bound, Eco-Club, Vermilion Community College and Northern Tier High Adventure Base

Printable Community Benefits Statement