John Beargrease was an Ojibwe mail carrier along the North Shore between Two Harbors and Grand Marais. His many years of service and delivering mail in all kinds of weather conditions--by foot, dogsled, horse and canoe led to the legend of John Beargrease. There is even a well-known sled dog race named after him.
~Edward J. Maki, Jr., Silver Bay, MN
Mailman along the North Shore. He delivered mail in any kind of weather.
~Mitchell Preusse and Nick Maki
John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007, the John Beargrease Sled Dog race has been an Arrowhead tradition since 1980. It has spawned many mushing sled dog drivers/racers/personalities, who have gone on to have a major influence in international sled dog sports.
The mushers and the history of sled dog sports in Minnesota had their organized beginnings in North Star Sled Dog Club, incorporated by Minnesota State Statutes in 1969.
The John Beargrease race takes its name from the Ojibwe man who, in the late 1800s, delivered the mail along the North Shore with his dog team. The race commemorates his courage and endurance and has come to be associated with one of the toughest and most exciting sled dog races in the lower 48, drawing competitors and spectators alike from throughout the USA and the world.
~Sally OSullivan Bair, Duluth, MN