Duluth North Pier Light

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Duluth North Pier Light
Duluth North Pier Light HAER.png
Duluth North Pier Light
Duluth North Pier Light is located in Minnesota
Duluth North Pier Light
LocationEnd of North Pier of the
Duluth Ship Canal
Coordinates46°46′52″N 92°05′17″W / 46.7810°N 92.0881°W / 46.7810; -92.0881Coordinates: 46°46′52″N 92°05′17″W / 46.7810°N 92.0881°W / 46.7810; -92.0881
Year first lit1910
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 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1910 (1910)
Built byUnited States Lighthouse Service
NRHP reference #16000340[3][3]
Added to NRHPJune 7, 2016

The Duluth North Pier Light is a lighthouse on the north breakwater at the entrance to the Duluth Ship Canal.


An 1896 project to improve harbor facilities resulted in the reconstruction of the sides of the 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 south pier light, while the assistants were given a brick duplex in 1913 after years of having to find boarding accommodations on their own.[4] The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.


  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.
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2013-11-02). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  4. ^ a b c d "Duluth Harbor North Breakwater, MN". LighthouseFriends.
  5. ^ a b c Pepper, Terry. "Duluth North Pierhead Light".