The construction of the Two Harbors Light Station began in 1891 and the first lighting of the light was on April 14, 1892. The Two Harbors Lighthouse Station was built to meet the need to provide safe passage into the harbor and as a result Two Harbors during the early 1900’s was able to become the major shipping point for the iron ore from the Vermillion and Mesabi Ranges. Two Harbors Light Station is the oldest continuously running lighthouse on the North Shore. The U.S. Coast Guard lived on the site until 1981 when they automated the light. The Light then became controlled by the Coast Guard in Duluth, which eliminated the need for someone on site. In 1985, the Society obtained a lease from the Coast Guard to operate the lighthouse as a historic site. In 1998, the Society appealed to Congressman Oberstar and through a bill passed in Congress the ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Society.
The Light Station is a privately owned aid to navigation. This means the Society is responsible for the care and maintenance of the light. Since 1999 the Lake County Historical Society has operated the Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast in the main keepers quarters which helps to defray the cost of maintaining the facility.
In 2010 the Lake County Historical Society received a grant from the Department of Natural Resource’s Lake Superior Coastal Program to develop new exhibits at the Light Station. The new exhibits at the Two Harbors Light Station feature the history of the harbor in the Pilot House, along with expanded exhibits chronicling the history of the luminaries, the construction of the Two Harbors Light Station, and the Keepers duties in the lighthouse tower. This project is made possible from the NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management through the MN Department of Natural Resource’s Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program.
Watch the short tower tour video.
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