Mother Nature’s contribution to our amazing piece of property lies in the “Thomsonite gemstone” embedded in our shoreline. Unique in its presence and beauty, we hope it will encourage lasting memories of your time spent relaxing on our shoreline, listening to the waves, breathing in the fresh air of the North Shore, sitting by a campfire, watching the sun rise or sun set over the Sawtooth Mountain range. Or a visit to our Thomsonite Gemstone/Jewelry and gift shop, located in our office, will allow you to find the perfect souvenir. Fine polished and cut Thomsonite gemstones, hand crafted gold and silver Thomsonite jewelry is for sale. Our shop features jewelry and gemstones from 5 different artists and rock hounds. We are sure the compliments received or questions asked about your Thomsonite will bring back memories that you will love to share.
If you are not making a trip to the North Shore, but are still interested in purchasing a piece of Thomsonite Jewelry, contact Lee using our contact form or call her at 218-387-1532. While we do not have an online store, Lee is willing to email photos of jewelry options based on what you are looking for.
OriginThomsonite was created from lava flows of the Keweenawan Period, over 600 million years ago. Gases trapped within the lava and seams between the lava flows turned into hollow pockets when the lava hardened. Over hundreds of thousands of years, these hollow openings filled and solidified, forming Thomsonite.
The unique combination of volcanic activity and certain chemicals and minerals is responsible for why the gemstone formed in this location along the North Shore.
OccurrenceThomsonite can be found locally on the beaches between Lutsen and Grand Marais, on Isle Royal, Michigan and near Saxon Falls and the Montreal River Gorge on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The color and texture of Minnesota’s Thomsonite makes it unique as gem-quality stones are found only in a limited area of Lake Superior’s shoreline about 5 ½ miles southwest of Grand Marais. Thomsonite Beach Inn is located in the middle.
Thomsonite is also found in the Kilpatrick Hills of Scotland; Northern Ireland; Saxony, Germany; Russia; the Faroe Islands; Kern County, California; and Cape Lookout, Oregon.
A Rare MineralThomsonite is a mineral belonging to the zeolite group of minerals, which has over 35 different recognized members. Thomsonite is one of the rarer zeolites. It forms tight acicular radiating clusters and sphericules as well as some blockier crystals and is found in the vesicles or bubbles of volcanic rock, as are most other zeolites.
History and BackgroundDr. Thomas Thomson, for whom Thomsonite is named, first described the mineral in 1840, after finding it in the Kilpatrick Hills of Scotland.
The Minnesota Geological Survey was established in 1873 and headed by Newton Winchell, who taught in the winter and conducted surveys during the summer months. Two of his students, young professors from the University of Minnesota, S.F. Peckman and C.W. Hall, spent their vacation in 1879 along the north shore of Lake Superior studying rocks. A report they published in 1888 is the first printed reference to Thomsonite.
ColorsPure Thomsonite is snow-white and sometimes translucent. Other compounds such as ferric and / or ferrous iron or copper are responsible for the various colorations within the gemstone. Commonly found colors are pink, tan, white, red and brown. Those with green, gray or black backgrounds or green eyes are the most highly prized and least frequently found.
Mining HistoryDuring the turn of the century, Hans Bernard Larsen, a Norwegian immigrant who came to Grand Marais in 1888, sold Thomsonite in a summer tent along Good Harbor Bay. By 1924, the American Exploration Company owned much of the Thomsonite-laden property.
In 1942, Harlow Tyschen bought Lake Superior shoreline and began to mine Thomsonite. He sold his property in 1974 to Anita and Jack Brust and formed Tybrus Gems to mine the stones. Some of their prize gemstones are on display in the Office/Jewelry Shop.
Maurice and Tania Feigal bought 500 feet of shoreline to build Thomsonite Beach Resort in 1961, where they mined and sold Thomsonite jewelry until 1998. For 36 years they were well known to North Shore visitors for their passion as “rock hounds” and lapidary experts. They loved to share their knowledge, make beautiful silver or gold jewelry while offering lakeside accommodations which soon became treasured memories shared by generations of guests. The Feigal’s sold the resort in 1998 to Matt and Vicki Geretschlaeger who operated it until November of 1999. It was then purchased by Lee and Scott Bergstrom who are the present owners.
Lodging SpecialsClose this window Last Minute Lodging Website Special
Within 48 hours of your anticipated arrival, call us at 1.888.387.1532 or send us an email and mention you saw our last minute special on our website. We will offer you a special rate based on our remaining rooms. This offer is not valid on existing reservations.
SUPERIOR NATIONAL AT LUTSEN GOLF PACKAGES (June 12-October 1, 2017)
Stay at Thomsonite Beach Inn and let us know you want to play gof. You can play 18 holes with cart for $57 plus tax. Discounted rate requires a 48 hour advance golf reservation with Superior National. Call 218-663-7195 or visit www.superiornational.com.
Lutsen Mountains Ski and Stay Packages:
We team up with Lutsen Mountains to provide our guests with valuable lift and lodging packages for your winter pleasure. Packages vary but at the least are based on a minimum 2 night stay. Packages include discounted lodging and lift tickets. Further discounts may be found at www.lutsen.com for equipment rental and ski lessons. We have units 1,2,4,6,8, 10 and 11 available for these packages. Please give us a call or use the search below to see what fits your need. Come ski/snowboard on the Midwest’s finest mountain then return home to relax and rejuvenate with us by Lake Superior.
Click here to book a ski and stay package.
ReviewsClose this window We’re back! LOL and we brought friends – Heidi, Kirsten, Julia & Tess
What a find – don’t always “luck out” when picking lodging out of a book – the little extras like the lovely bar soap, fire pit, grills on the rocks. Thanks so much for the hiking tips- they were “right on”. We will be back. – Tom & Shirley, St. Michael, MN
You truly have a wonderful place. All 6 of us have enjoyed our women’s weekend away. We’ve endured challenging hike with difficult weather, enjoyed listening/watching the superior waves crashing in, warmed up with a wonderful campfire and saw “cornius hictus” the northern light in the sky. We’re not sure which we did more of: walking or laughing. We have had a wonderful time and have truly enjoyed your hospitality……We all hope to see you again. – Kathy, Evann, Sherry, Julie, Judy and Deb, Twin Cities area
This trip has been a blessing for my friend and me. The place is breath taking, the view is amazing. I have to say that this is one of my favorite trips. We will definitely be back. Thank you for the hiking tips. We enjoyed Eagle Mountain trails. We hope to be back in the summer, but we will be staying for a week instead of two days. Thank you! Blessings, Channy & Nicole
Thank you Scott and Lee for the relaxing restful stay. This spot is georgeous! While staying the week, I was inspired far beyond my expectations of seeing beautiful landscapes. The weather was cold and rainy, but WOW! The cloud formations, mist and waves could not have be more perfect for subject of my paintings at the Art Colony. I completed some nice work thanks to the intense weather. I loved hearing the waves all night, too. Thanks for everything. Good luck hunting with Rip – what a comedian, Ha! – Joanne
We finally made it up to Thomsonite in September 2007 to surprise my parents who had been coming here for years. We had a fantastic visit and we’ve decided to come back each year. We love it here. Please enjoy the cedar bench near the office in memory of my father. Our visit in 2007 to Thomsonite was the last time we saw him. – Karen & Nick, Carrolton, TX
What a nice birthday gift from our kids. We enjoyed the serenity of the lodge. Nice chance for sightseeing and came home to peace and quiet. What a nice treat. – Dick & Jackie, Redwing, MN
Thank you for the good memories. We love the sound of the water, the camp fire and the friendly people. This was the weekend for the maples. They were beautiful. We look forward to our next visit. – Geoff & Jade, Arden Hills, MN
We live on Lake Superior and you have the best sound effects, marvelous on shore waves and scenery. – Tom & Sylvia, Thunder Bay, ONT
In a nutshell….Two young love birds on their first getaway. Guess we could also mention how we lucked out on this little trip: great snowboarding weather, our kind hosts – Lee & Scott, the roar of the lake. Hope this was the first of many visits to Thomsonite Beach! – Anita & Josh, Minneapolis
Wish we would have found this place earlier in our trip. Love the jewelry! We’ll remember to stay here if we are ever back in this area. Very peaceful and comfortable. – Paul & Kathy, Tonganoxie, KS
This is our first visit to the North Shore. My first reaction is WOW! This part of the country is unbelievably beautiful. Lake Superior is enormous. We’ve seen waterfall, light houses, eagles, otters, loons, ships and the Canadian border by the High Falls of the Pigeon River. We drove to the end of the Gunflint Trail and drank numerous lattes from the Java Moose in Grand Marais. We look forward to returning again so our grandson can experience “the loft”. This is truly a great place to start making memories with our grand children (hopefully annual visits). Thanks for such a nice place to stay. – Chris & Randy, Britt, IA
Thank you sunset pinks and purples becoming green and yellows. Thank you rocks and breeze and quiet times. Thank you sleeping, thank you laughing, thank you life and grace and being. Amen! – Sarah, Linda & Eileen
We loved our stay! The sights, sounds and smells are a delight for a couple of “city slickers”. We tried to take in as many glorious sights as possible but 4 days is not enough time…. We will be back next year. We love the “cabin” and the loft is just as much for BIG kids like us. The grounds are awesome and we were able to recharge our batteries with peace and beautiful settings. – Mark & Cora, Waukegan, IL