Location

Two Harbors is located 20 miles northeast of the city of Duluth along Lake Superior, which contributes the two natural harbors for which Two Harbors is named, Burlington Bay and Agate Bay. According to the Minnesota DNR, Two Harbors is located in a region called the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province which contains broad areas of coniferous forest, mixed hardwood, and conifer bogs and swamps. The population was 3,745 at the 2010 census.

History

Two Harbors used to consist of two separate communities called Agate Bay and Burlington. The early settlers lived in primitive conditions, which was common for both the area and time. The first residence constructed in Agate Bay was owned by Thomas Sexton (1854), he created a fourteen by sixteen foot shack. Their homes were made of logs and had dirt floors. Diets often consisted of homegrown vegetables and animals that could be caught in the area (at that time there were many dense forests, so deer meat was not an abundant food source). The village of Two Harbors was platted in 1885 but was not incorporated until 1888.

By 1883, the Minnesota Iron Company had purchased all but four acres of Thomas Sextons land around Agate Bay. Sexton leased his remaining four acres to merchants seeking to capitalize on the 600 man workforce arriving to build the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad. He divided his four acres into 32 lots. As with any frontier town of the day it was a largely male population. The infamous four acre plot earned the nickname Whiskey Row, and was said to exist for the sole purpose of "relieving a man from his pay". Contrary to popular myth Whiskey Row was not destroyed by a fire in 1888. There was fire but it occurred before the first load of ore arrived in July 1884 and only seven buildings were damaged. It was reported that the merchants affected were in Duluth the next day purchasing materials to rebuild. The demise of Whiskey row occurred the following year.

The railroad rapidly expanded its rail and shipping operations and it needed all of the shoreline for its new coal handling and storage facility. By 1885, the Minnesota Iron Company had convinced Thomas Sexton to sell his remaining four acres along Agate Bay. The railroad then simply evicted the tenants and moved any of the salvageable buildings inland. There are several homes in "east" Two Harbors whose original structures were built on Whiskey Row.

School District

Two Harbors is in the Lake Superior School District (ISD 381). Minnehaha Elementary serves grades K through 5, while Two Harbors High School houses students in 6th through 12th grade.

Minnehaha Elementary                                                              Two Harbors High School
1640 Hwy 2, Two Harbors, 55616                                             421 7th St, Two Harbors, MN 55616
Phone: 218-834-8201 Fax: 218-834-5513                                 Phone: 218-834-8221 Fax: 218-834-8247

Things to Do

Gooseberry Falls State Park

The gateway to the North Shore, Gooseberry Falls State Park is known for its spectacular waterfalls, river gorge, scenic overlooks of the Lake Superior shoreline, Civilian Conservation Corps log and stone structures, north woods wildlife, and trout fishing.

To get the most out of your visit, the Joseph N. Alexander Visitor Center provides park information, interpretive displays, a park video, Nature Store, and more.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

This 2,075-acre area with more than 12 miles of hiking paths is the site of the historic Split Rock Lighthouse. Cart-in your supplies to pristine campsites along Lake Superior, hike the spectacular Superior Hiking Trail or cast your line for lake trout, salmon, and brown trout.

Castle Danger Brewery

This popular locak brewery moved to Two Harbors for a much needed expansion in 2014, now featuring a much larger system, taproom & canning line. Stop by the Castle Danger Taproom, overlooking Lake Superior at 17 7th St, Two Harbors, MN 55616, to try their current beer offerings, along with occasional special releases. If you’re stopping by on the weekend, brewery tours are Saturdays at 5pm and last around 30 minutes.

Where to Eat

Vanilla Bean Restaurant

Within the cozy confines of the Vanilla Bean Restaurant you’ll find a made-from-scratch menu that features award-winning chicken wild rice soup, pan-sautéed walleye and caramel pecan bread pudding – just to name a few.

Cedar Coffee Company

Fresh food served in a warm, relaxing atmosphere is what you’ll find at this local favorite. From a cold pressed coffee and breakfast burrito to tacos and gourmet sandwiches, you’ll find it all at Cedar Coffee Company.

Betty’s Pies

Dishing out much more than their moniker would suggest, Betty’s Pies offers an extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Saving room for a slice is still strongly suggested.

Black Wood’s Family Grill & Bar

From our scratch-made soups, sauces, and gravies to slow-cooked comfort food classics like meatloaf and pot pies, everything served at Black Wood’s promises to be fresh and local. Partnering with a variety of Minnesota and Wisconsin companies throughout the year, their menu changes with the seasons.

Other places to eat include but are not limited to Carmody 61, Earthwood Inn, Grill, & Bar, Culver’s, Dairy Queen, Do North Pizza, Judy’s Café, Kamloops Restaurant & Lounge, Landing Sports Bar Hwy 61, Lemon Wolf Café, Louise’s Place, McDonald’s, Mocha Moose Coffee Shop, and Northshore Pizza & Coffee House.

Places of Worship

Include but are not limited to Holy Spirit Catholic Church, First Baptist Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Living Waters Fellowship, United Church, Shepherd - The Lake Lutheran Church, Evangelical Free Church, Two Harbors Jehovah Witnesses, and Silver Creek Community Church.

Local Businesses

Include but are not limited to 47 Degrees Art Gallery & Gift Shop, A.W. Kuettel and Sons, American Legion Post #109, Amicus Adventure Sailing, Anderson’s Greenhouse & Florist, Arts on Superior, Bluefin Bay Resort, Burlington Bay Campground, Calco Painting, Caribou Highlands Lodge, Castle Haven Resort, Clair Nelson Community Center, Do Right Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Essentia Health Two Harbors Pharmacy, Four Seasons Lawn & Snow Service, Goodwill Two Harbors, Grand Superior Lodge, Granite Gear, Harbor Insurance Agency, Harbor Kayak & Paddleboard Rental, LLC, Kickstart Preschool, Lake County News-Chronicle, Lake Superior Dental Associates, Lake View Clinic, Lake View Hospital, Lakeview National Golf Course, Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast, Lil’ Dog Car & Pet Wash, Mecklin Contracting, Minnesota DNR, Moose’ Cellaneous Gifts, Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Store, North Shore Federal Credit Union, North Shore Oil & Propane, Odyssey Real Estate Group, Sandretsky’s Sugar Shack, Seagren’s Hardware, Shopko Hometown, Sonju Two Harbors, Spokengear, Super One, Superior Shores Resort, Two Harbors Towing, Two Harbors Veterinary Clinic, and Weldon’s Gifts.