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
Location End of North Pier of the
Duluth Ship Canal
Coordinates 46°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 lit 1910
Foundation Concrete breakwater
Construction Steel/cast iron
Tower shape Cylindrical tower
Markings / pattern White with black lantern
Height 36 ft (11 m)
Focal height 43 ft (13 m)
Original lens Fifth order Fresnel lens
Range 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)
Characteristic Red isophase 4s
USCG number

7-15855 [1]


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.[3] 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][3][4] Appropriation was made in 1909, and a tower was erected and lit the following year.[3] The design was based off that of the Peche Island Rear Range Light, featuring a short round tower built of steel plates.[4] A fifth-order Fresnel lens from France was installed and lit with a 210-candlepower electric lamp powered from the city power grid.[4] 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.[3] 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 c d "Duluth Harbor North Breakwater, MN". LighthouseFriends. 
  4. ^ a b c Pepper, Terry. "Duluth North Pierhead Light".