About the Area
The earliest Two Harbors pioneers were mostly Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, and French or English from Canada. They came to a rugged and often rowdy village. The town was little more than a tent city with a few acres cleared and forest encroaching all around. Water was hauled in four barrels on a wagon and was sold for 25 cents a barrel.
Lake County Historical Society was formed in 1926 to collect, preserve and disseminate information about Lake County and the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota. Toward that goal, the Society conducts programs for community education, provides a research room for scholars, and operates museums preserving the history of the town, county & integrity of Two Harbors MN Real Estate as it transforms.
The Two Harbors Light House Station, constructed to improve safety in the Harbor, began 24 hour operation in 1892. The Lighthouse is the oldest operating Minnesota light station on the North Shore and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the more interesting aspects of the new settlement was the existence of "Whiskey Row." Most of the early residents were single men or men who had left their families at home until new homes were built. Whiskey Row offered 22 saloons and dance halls for entertainment. Noise, laughter, music and brawls were common sights.
As families began to follow their men to the area, businesses, churches, civic organizations, banks and schools replaced the more rowdy life of the dock area with more family oriented Two Harbors residents. The first newspaper was the "Iron Port." The name was fitting because it can be said that, "As iron and railway grew, so iron built Two Harbors." The economy of this area was heavily dependent on three natural resources: iron, forest, and fish.
In 1874, the railroad was incorporated and the first steam engine, the "3 Spot," was brought in by boat. This crew brought the first load of iron ore down from Tower in 1884. From a plank, Agate Bay became the sight for a huge six-story steel and concrete ore docks, while the tugboat "Edna G." pulled boats in and out of the harbor.
In 1886 the county seat was moved from Beaver Bay to Two Harbors, and the town was incorporated in 1888. By 1924 an international highway was under construction, and tourism became Two Harbors' fourth largest resource.