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History of Raven's Wing B&B

Ely and the surrounding area is rich in history and the house that is now Raven’s Wing Bed and Breakfast sits on a big piece of that history.  From prehistory through the mining, logging and tourism times this land has stories to tell.

The Ojibway peoples inhabited these lands long before white settlers arrived.  You can learn a great deal of their history and culture at the Bois Forte Heritage Center located on the shores of Lake Vermillion about 30 miles from Ely at 1500 Bois Forte Road, Tower, MN 55790. Phone: 218-753-6017.

As logging and mining became the dominant activities in the late 1800s, the town of Ely grew to meet the needs of these industries and their workers.  In 1890, the population of Ely was 901 persons, but by 1895 it had grown to 2260 as mining took off. The white pine forests of Northern Minnesota built vast buildings as far away as the East Coast. The iron ore from the iron range is said to have won the First and Second World Wars as it was used in ships and vehicles and weapons of all sorts. Learn more of this rich history at the Ely-Winton History Museum located on the campus of the Minnesota North Vermillion Campus, 1900 East Camp Street, Ely, MN and at the Pioneer Mine Shaft House museum just up the road from Raven’s Wing.

Raven’s Wing has a great history.  The original walls of the house went up on land belonging to the mining company in the very late 1800s, probably in 1897.  The miners were allowed to build a small house to live in on the company’s land and live there with their growing families.  After the mines closed the land eventually was given to the miners or their descendants.  Houses were added to, rebuilt, torn down, remodeled, and turned into the homes you see today.

Raven’s Wing itself has had a complete rebuild and those early mining families would not recognize it today, but the bones of that first miner’s house are still a part of the building you are staying in.

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