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).


Inspiring the next generation of Northwoods stewards to make a significant contribution toward a better world through Dorothy’s legacy of perseverance, integrity and generosity.


The Dorothy Molter Museum is a dynamic and widely recognized educational organization, highly valued for its historical integrity and educational impact. As we continue to remember Dorothy and keep her spirit alive, we strive to embody the same principles that she espoused:


To maintain long-term sustainability in an ever-changing social, political and financial climate.


To maintain the highest degree of historical accuracy and visitor satisfaction.


To be a positive, active and contributing member of the diverse communities we are a part of.

Strategic Plan

The Museum’s Board of Directors adopted a new, five-year strategic plan for 2018-2023 through a collaborative process between Board, staff and volunteers. This plan guides and informs museum leadership in decision-making and planning through established goals.

Download Plan
If you would like to see a more detailed plan that includes specific strategies and outcomes, please let us knowOur completed 2012-2017 Strategic Plan is available for review  here.

Giving Back

Dorothy was always concerned with the physical well-being of others and gave freely of her medical knowledge to all who came her way. As a way to give back to the community that supported Dorothy, the Dorothy Molter Memorial Foundation (Dorothy Molter Museum) will award one scholarship per year up to $1,000.00 from the Wilderness First Responders’ Fund. This scholarship is funded by contributions made from staff, board, volunteers, members and guests of the Dorothy Molter Museum. Scholarship availability will be promoted to Ely Area residents interested in enhancing their medical expertise. Learn More.