Founded in the mid-1800s as Agate Bay, Two Harbors is the second-largest port in the state of Minnesota. The first railroad dedicated to the transport of Iron Ore was built from the Vermillion Range to Lake Superior at Two Harbors in 1886. Taconite is still loaded onto freighters at the two massive docks in Agate Bay, one of which was formerly the largest of its kind in the world. The other harbor, in Burlington Bay, completes the city's name.
The city is located just 26 miles from Duluth, making it the convenient starting point for Grandma's Marathon, one the nation's most scenic, held each June. The city hosts the world's only "Sandpaper Museum", commemorating the 1902 founding of Minnesota, Mining & Manufacturing, now famous as the 3M Corporation. Today, the city is a popular jumping off point for recreational opportunities along the more than 100 miles of Lake Superior's North Shore and the Boundary Waters Wilderness 90 minutes to the north.