The Duluth & Iron Range Railroad hired Duluth architect Peter Olson to build the company’s headquarters and passenger station overlooking the ore docks and rail yards on Lake Superior. Opening to the public in 1907, the Two Harbors Depot became the hub through which goods, services, and people traveled.
The company officially merged to become the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Railroad in July 1938, moving headquarters South to Duluth. Passenger service continued at the Two Harbors Depot until July 15th, 1961 when the final passenger train departed the station for Duluth. The Society opened its first museum in the building in 1960, expanding displays into the entire first floor in 1984 with the celebration of the centennial of iron ore shipping from Agate Bay.
With 4,000 feet of exhibit space, the Depot Museum continues to share the past and present culture of the county.
The 3M Birthplace Museum is located in the original Dwan Law Office Building. The Lake County Historical Society purchased the Dwan building in 1991. A year later it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and opened as a museum depicting 3M’s early years.
Remaining relatively unchanged, the lighthouse complex has been listed on the National Register of Historic places since 1984. The Lake County Historical Society began to provide tours of the Light Station in 1988 when it was granted a lease by the US Coast Guard. In 1999, the Society appealed to Congressman Oberstar and through a bill passed in congress, the ownership of the Two Harbors Lighthouse was transferred to the Lake County Historical Society. The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast opened in 1999 to provide support for the preservation of the buildings and grounds. The Society assumed responsibility for the light maintenance and operation from the US Coast Guard in 2001. The light has been maintained with the help from volunteer lighthouse keepers for the past twenty years and remains a private aid to navigation.