Summer Museums for the Family

With the arrival of the summer tourism season comes the reopening of all the main attractions, and in Two Harbors, this means that all of the Lake County Historical Society museums are going to be in business once again. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, Two Harbors museums will be open seven days a week. Here’s a short list of what’s out there to check out.

The Depot Museum, the former headquarters for the Iron Range and Duluth railroads, is located seven blocks south of Highway 61. It’s an almost 100-year-old brick structure that was in operation until 1961, and it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Exhibits at the museum include exhibits on fishing, timber, and iron mining. Hours: Monday – Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 10-4.

The Two Harbors Light Station was erected in 1891. It’s the oldest currently-operating lighthouse on Minnesota’s north shore, and it was formerly the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1998, the Lake County Historical Society gained ownership of the lighthouse, and they added the Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast to the property. Monday through Saturday hours are 10 to 6, and Sunday is 10 to 4.

The 3M Museum is a unique place that stands as a memorial to the men who built what used to be known as “Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing,” the company that 3M got their three M’s from. The two-story building is where John Dwan drew up the papers to form the corporation in 1902. It’s open M-F from 12-5, Saturday from 11-5, and Sunday from 11-4. As the Historical Society’s website states: “The museum pays homage to the early days of the company that would go on to define the business model of research and development and become a global force employing over 88,000 people worldwide with annual sales of over 30 billion dollars.”

Finally, there’s the Edna G. tugboat. She’s a tugboat from 1896 that was turned into a historic site after its retirement in 1981. In 2013, the Edna G. Commission completed a significant amount of repairs and maintenance on the tug, which is now much more inviting to tourists looking for a taste of tug life. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10-5, and Sunday 10-4.

Much more information is available at the Lake County Historical Society website, or by calling 218-834-4898.