Split Rock - More than Just a Lighthouse

July 26, 2016  •  1 Comment

It's been the subject of a stamp, featured in film, notable photography and postcards. It's also one of Minnesota's best known landmarks.

Lake Superior, MN - Split Rock LighthouseLake Superior, MN - Split Rock Lighthouse Yet Split Rock Lighthouse, southwest of Silver Bay on the North Shore of Lake Superior, is best recognized for it's service saving ships on Lake Superior. In the early 1900's, Iron Ore shipments on the lake were increasing dramatically.

Two Harbors, MN - Ore DockTwo Harbors, MN - Ore DockOre Dock in Two Harbors, down the road from Split Rock Lighthouse U.S. Steel Corporation dominated the business with 112 steel freighters. On November 28, 1905 a strong gale, known as the Mataafa Storm, damaged 29 ships, of which a third owned by U.S. Steel were uninsured.  Two of the ships hit the rocks here, one of which still lies on the bottom of the lake just north of Split Rock. 

Lake Superior, MN - Split Rock ViewLake Superior, MN - Split Rock ViewView from Split Rock Lighthouse along the shoreline of Lake Superior. With lobby from company officials, Congress appropriated $75,000 to build the lighthouse, other buildings and land. Construction was was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service.

Lake Superior, MN - Split Rock Lighthouse Keepers HomesLake Superior, MN - Split Rock Lighthouse Keepers Homes Run by the U.S. Lighthouse Service until 1939 when the Coast Guard took over, Split Rock was decommissioned in 1969 when modern navigational equipment made it obsolete. 

Lake Superior, MN - Split Rock Lighthouse - 3Lake Superior, MN - Split Rock Lighthouse Minnesota had it named an historic and scenic landmark in 1971, and in 1976 the Minnesota Historical Society took over operation. The site includes the original tower and lens, the fog signal building, the oil house, and the three keepers' houses. It is restored to appear as it did in the late 1920s. 

In 2011 it was designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the most picturesque lighthouses in the United States.

Lake Superior, MN - Split Rock LighthouseLake Superior, MN - Split Rock LighthousePhoto by the late David Fisk. Make plans to visit this beautiful historic site, complete with museum at the visitors center and guided tours.  Or just take a self guided tour around the 25 acre site, with several views of the lighthouse that are sure to make a great photo.  Walk up the spiral staircase to the light itself and see more displays in the fog signal building.  Costumed guides in the keepers home and Lighthouse show what life was like in the early 1920's.  

In addition, the adjacent Split Rock Lighthouse State Park offers many recreational activities and scenic trails along the shoreline. 

Find out more via the Minnesota Historical Society's website HERE.


Comments

1.Rho(non-registered)
..Geez.., just beautiful.. Something I'm unfortunately not too familiar with coming from the desert southwest.., nevertheless, for some reason, the images have always tugged at my heart..! Love your guys work !! Peace
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