East Breakwater Light

Two Harbors, Minnesota | C.1906

Photo Credit: AJ Nelson

The Two Harbors East Breakwater Light is located on the breakwater between Agate Bay & Burlington Bay & Lake Superior and was built in 1906, standing 32 feet above high water.

In 1887, a project was adopted to improve the harbor at Agate Bay by constructing breakwaters from the eastern and western points at the entrance. At that time, Agate Bay, also known as Two Harbors, had two elevated iron ore docks, and two merchandise docks.

Two Harbors Lighthouse – the oldest lighthouse in Minnesota – commenced operation on the eastern side of Agate Bay in 1892, and on December 14, 1895 a white, eight-day lantern light, shown from an iron post was established on the outer end of the eastern breakwater that extended from the shore near the lighthouse.

After work was completed on the breakwaters in 1902, the iron post was moved 300 feet from the angle of the pier to the outer end of the newly constructed ell, where the light was changed from a lens-lantern to a Pintsch gas light.

Compartments were constructed in the breakwater to hold two eight-foot-long, cylindrical gas tanks, which were connected via pipes to the iron post supporting the light. The new gas light was first exhibited on September 10, 1902.

Four years later, the post light was replaced by an enclosed light tower. The combined light and fog-bell tower and an electrically operated fog bell, on the easterly breakwater, were completed put into operation in 1906.

The lighthouse remains in service today, exhibiting a red flash every six seconds. The current foghorn can be activated by keying a microphone five times on VHF-FM Channel 79.

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