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Facing North

Portraits of Ely, Minnesota

2008
Author:

Ann Goldman
Foreword by Jim Brandenburg
Photography by Andrew Goldman

Facing North

Photographic portraits that capture the spirit of Minnesota’s Northwoods

Ann and Andrew Goldman offer a revealing portrayal of the people who call Ely home. Featuring more than one hundred portraits as well as vivid essays, Facing North tells the story of life in this Northwoods community: its breathtaking beauty, diverse character, and complex history. From resort owners to canoe makers, Facing North is an evocative tribute to the enduring nature of Ely and its people.

Thank you, Andrew and Ann Goldman, for the persistence that it took to achieve the portraits in Facing North. It is a historic document for Ely, Minnesota, that has worldwide interest as a snapshot of a unique northern community. You so accurately captured my friends and neighbors, and I will always cherish this book.

Will Steger

Perched on the edge of the northern woods at the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota, holds special meaning for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. But what is it like for the people who live there year-round?

Ann and Andrew Goldman offer a revealing portrayal of the unique people who call Ely home. Featuring more than one hundred portraits as well as vivid essays, Facing North tells the story of life in this Northwoods community: its breathtaking beauty, surprisingly diverse character, and complex history. A thriving destination area, Ely is a changing community, yet its traditions remain vibrant and strong. From resort owners and fishermen to canoe makers and artists, Facing North is an evocative tribute to the enduring nature of Ely and its people.

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust.

Facing North

Andrew Goldman is a freelance commercial photographer. His clients include ESPN and Playboy Enterprises, and his photographs have appeared on more than forty magazine covers.


Ann Goldman is a freelance writer and presenter whose professional background is in museum and nonprofit management. She lives with her husband, Andrew Goldman, in Boulder, Colorado, with their two sons.

The work of award-winning nature photographer Jim Brandenburg has been featured in National Geographic magazine since 1978. His many books include Chased by the Light and Looking for the Summer. He lives near Ely, Minnesota, where his work can be seen at Brandenburg Gallery.

Facing North

Thank you, Andrew and Ann Goldman, for the persistence that it took to achieve the portraits in Facing North. It is a historic document for Ely, Minnesota, that has worldwide interest as a snapshot of a unique northern community. You so accurately captured my friends and neighbors, and I will always cherish this book.

Will Steger

Topping this summer’s list of must-see books is Andrew and Ann Goldman’s Facing North. It rings with what makes Ely Ely. Just go find it and sit down with it. Don’t try to leaf through it in a minute or two—you won’t be able to. If you love Ely but don’t live here, take it home. You’ll be able to return to the essence of Ely just by opening this book.

The Ely Summer Times

Facing North is a tender look at an increasingly diverse town.

Pioneer Press

A quality publication.

Ely Echo

Andrew Goldman has put together a fantastic book. . . . The photos themselves are all black-and-white, and many of them are evocative, striking gems.

Mpls.St. Paul Magazine

Facing North is a fine tribute to the many faces of a small, independent town.

Lake Superior Magazine

Facing North is an evocative tribute to the enduring nature of Ely and its people.

Minnesota History