SILVER ISLET -- The fully renewed, historic General Store was bustling with tourists the last weekend of May. The smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns from the Tea Room wafts down the avenue once again. Passengers from the Octantis are brought to shore by tender to visit the freshly stocked Store, tour the picturesque shoreline dappled with old miner’s cabins converted to camps and hear the many legends surrounding the lost silver mine.
The General Store and Tea Room are restored and operational. Currently, open weekends from noon until 5 p.m. Lucky passengers of the Octantis are reaping the benefits. Freshly baked cinnamon buns from a recipe held for generations are available once again along with hot beverages, cold ice cream and one-of-a-kind crafts from local artisans.
May 27 saw the arrival of the largest passenger vessel ever to cruise Superior - and it was a truly awesome sight to behold against the backdrop of the Sleeping Giant peninsula. The Octantis is an expedition ship outfitted with two submersibles that will take six passengers up to 300 metres underwater to see the rocky coastlines and artifacts scattered along the clear bays of the Sibley peninsula. A once in a lifetime experience.
The General Store has watched over Superior for more than 150 years, the old iconic ‘store’ sign was originally hung on the building side facing the lake, originally passengers could only access Silver Islet by steam ships. The legendary Forest City, Doric, Islet Prince and finally the Keewatin - who made her last run in the 1960s.
The Octantis has brought back this maritime tradition, reminding us of a largely forgotten era and renewing interest in Silver Islet once again. The future of nautical tourism is being ushered forth by the Octantis and future generations are posed to benefit. Not only does the Octantis act as an expedition vessel, it is also a research ship partnered with several prestigious institutes including: University of Cambridge/Scott Polar Research Institute, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and The Polar Citizen Science Collective.
Thanks to the local people who helped renew and refurbish the Silver Islet dock and store. There was seemingly endless coordinating with all levels of government and Viking Cruise lines to make this a reality. It was several years in the making and their hard work has really paid off. Be sure to add Silver Islet to your staycation destination this summer, there’s more than 150 years of amazing history to discover.
Check out everything the Store has to offer on their website.