Duluth North Pier Light

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Duluth North Pier Light
Duluth North Pier Lighthouse.jpg
Duluth North Pier Light from the west
Duluth North Pier Light is located in Minnesota
Duluth North Pier Light
LocationEnd of north pier of the Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth, Minnesota
Coordinates46°46′51.4″N 92°5′17.8″W / 46.780944°N 92.088278°W / 46.780944; -92.088278Coordinates: 46°46′51.4″N 92°5′17.8″W / 46.780944°N 92.088278°W / 46.780944; -92.088278
Year first constructed1910
FoundationConcrete breakwater
ConstructionSteel/cast iron
Tower shapeCylindrical tower
Markings / patternWhite with black lantern
Tower height36 ft (11 m)
Focal height43 ft (13 m)
Original lensFifth order Fresnel lens
Range16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)
CharacteristicRed isophase 4s
USCG number7-15855[1][2]
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
Duluth Harbor North Pier Light
AreaLess than one acre
ArchitectOffice of the Superintendent of Lighthouses
MPSLight Stations of the United States MPS
NRHP reference #16000340[3]
Added to NRHPJune 7, 2016

The Duluth North Pier Light is a lighthouse on the north breakwater of the Duluth Ship Canal in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.


An 1896 project to improve harbor facilities resulted in the reconstruction of the sides of the Duluth Ship Canal, bracketing it in the two concrete piers which define its channel to the present.[4] While the south pier had been equipped with a light from 1874, the north pier was unlit, and given the difficult approach (highlighted by the notorious wreck of the SS Mataafa in 1905), calls for aids were soon made. A 1908 Lighthouse Board report, in recommending construction of a light on the north pier, noted that a private aid was already being placed on the pier.[2][4][5] Appropriation was made in 1909, and a tower was erected and lit the following year.[4] The design was based off that of the Peche Island Rear Range Light, featuring a short round tower built of steel plates.[5] A fifth-order Fresnel lens from France was installed and lit with a 210-candlepower electric lamp powered from the city power grid.[5] All the lights on the canal were maintained by the same keepers; the head keeper lived in a frame house constructed in 1874 with the Duluth South Breakwater Outer Light, while the assistants were given a brick duplex in 1913 after years of having to find boarding accommodations on their own.[4]

The North Pier Light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 for its local significance in the themes of engineering, maritime history, and transportation.[6] It was nominated for its association with federal efforts to establish nationwide navigational aids, and for being characteristic of early-20th-century pier and breakwater lights built around the Great Lakes.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Light List, Volume VII, Great Lakes (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2012. p. 150.
  2. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Minnesota". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Anderson, Kraig (2019). "Duluth Harbor North Breakwater, MN". Lighthousefriends.com. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  5. ^ a b c Pepper, Terry (2003-12-17). "Duluth North Pierhead Light". Seeing the Light: Lighthouses of the western Great Lakes. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  6. ^ "Duluth Harbor North Pier Light". National Register of Historic Places Program. National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  7. ^ Koski-Karell, Daniel; Leigh Cutler (2016-02-26). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Duluth Harbor North Pier Light" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-05-05. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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