Midwest Living Review
Karen Brzys grew up in a Detroit suburb and spent summers in Grand Marais, where her family has roots. She loved to visit Axel Niemi, an elderly fisherman who was also a rock hound. He had amassed an agate collection and opened this museum in 1954. After a corporate career and Axel's passing, Karen acquired the building, and in 1999, she reopened it as a combined agate and local-history museum. In addition to displays of agates from Lake Superior and further afield, she conducts agate classes for all ages and a summertime day camp for kids, makes evening presentations about agates and minerals, and creates and sells art made from agate and stained glass. Historical displays answer the question of what Grand Marais was like a century ago. Displays explore the lumber, mining and fishing industries as well as the Niemi family. And if you haven't had any luck finding agate yourself, purchase some as a souvenir at the gift shop.