Nestled in a quiet grove of pines, just outside of Ely, Minnesota, are the cabins and museum of one of the north wood’s dearest and most colorful individuals, Dorothy Molter. Some remember her fondly as the “Root Beer Lady” while others recall her as the “Nightingale of the Wilderness” or, simply, Dorothy.
Dorothy carved out her legacy in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) located within the Quetico-Superior National Forest. Dorothy lived on the Isle of Pines on Knife Lake for more than 56 years where she paddled, hiked, fished, skied and snowshoed this pristine area, until her death in 1986. She was visited by as many as 7,000 people a year.
About the Dorothy Molter Museum
The Dorothy Molter Memorial Foundation located in Ely, Minnesota, was formed to preserve and interpret her legacy. Dorothy’s homestead was dismantled in 1987 and transported by dogsled and snowmobile to Moose Lake, and then on to Ely where volunteers restored two of her cabins. We welcome you to our website, and invite you to stop by our museum where the root beer is always cold and Dorothy’s story lives on.
The Dorothy Molter Museum is located on the south side of Hwy 169 on the east end of Ely, MN. Guided tours are available daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weekends in September and the first three Saturdays in Oct. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and noon to 5:30 pm on Sundays. Tours are $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for Seniors, $4.00 for ages 6-17, and free for children 5 and under.
Bob Cary’s Office Exhibit
Come see our new exhibit as of 2012, Bob Cary’s Office. The late, great Bob Cary – writer, artist, outdoorsman, and, more of all, lover of Ely, its people and its beautiful surroundings, was one of Dorothy’s friends and the person who contributed greatly to her fame by writing Rootbeer Lady. One of our little cabins has been fixed up with Bob’s office, just as if he left to grab a cup of coffee.