Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum

Two Harbors, Minnesota is the home to the longest, continuously run lighthouse on Lake Superior’s North Shore.  It was first lit in 1892 as a result of heavy ship traffic transporting iron ore out of Agate Bay.  Today the Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum it is owned and operated by the Lake County Historical Society and by volunteers, and you can take a tour! 

Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum and B&B
Tour the historic Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum

Take a tour of the Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum

The self-guided tour starts at the gift shop which is actually the original fog signal building (1862 – 1975). After you purchase admission ($5) you can head through the door to the nicely manicured grounds of the Lighthouse Museum.

From the lawn, walk into a small, unassuming door at the front of the lighthouse. A flight of steps immediately heads up to the left. Straight ahead is the entrance to the Light Keepers quarters (now the Lighthouse B&B).

Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum
The Watch Room is where the light keeper monitored ship traffic and weather.
Two Harbors Lighthouse
The Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum has interpretive display and exhibits in the historic workstations.

Make your way up the tall and skinny flights of steps. In a short distance, you will arrive at a couple of landings. These used to be the lighthouse workstations including the Cleaning and Wicking Room, the Watch Room, and the Lantern Gallery (there is no public access to the Lantern Gallery). There are now interpretative displays and exhibits that explain the work that was done here. 

Lighthouse Museum, Two Harbors, MN
Porthole view from Lighthouse Museum

There are great views of Lake Superior and the ore docks. It was the light keeper’s responsibility to monitor ship traffic and weather from the Watch Room. Here you can look through the portholes as the lightkeeper did over a century ago!

Compared to some lighthouses this one is relatively short and sweet in stature. The tower is only 45 feet high. But since it sits on a rock ledge above Lake Superior, the tower is 75 feet above the water. 

How to Get There

  • From Hwy 61, go south on 6th Street (near Blackwoods).
  • In 7 blocks, turn left on South Avenue. Go past the Depot Museum.
  • In 3 blocks, turn right on 3rd Street.
  • Enter into the public water access area and park in the large parking lot.
  • Walk up the hill to the Lighthouse Museum.

Admission is $5 per attraction or $10 for a 2-day multi-pass (good for all of the Lake County Historical Society attractions).

The Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum is open daily Memorial Day – Mid-October. Open Saturdays during the off-season. The Lighthouse B&B is open year-round.

More Resources

Exploring Two Harbors, MN

Lake County Historical Society