We visited one of the most photographed lighthouses in Minnesota today, it was absolutely awesome. My favorite pictures of the lighthouse are the ones from a distance showing how high it is on the cliff. They have places you can pull over and take pictures along the way before arriving at the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
This park is situated on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Best known for its historic lighthouse, this park also offers numerous recreational opportunities. Visitors can cart-in their supplies to pristine campsites along Lake Superior. Scenic trails along the lake link up to the spectacular Superior Hiking Trails.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park has a rich and varied history. From 1899 to 1906, the Merrill and Ring Lumber Company logged most of the original Norway and white pine from the area. During peak years, the company operated a short railroad up the river. Pilings from old wharf and dam can still be seen jutting out of the water at the mouth of the Split Rock River. In 1905, a punishing November gale (the kind Lake Superior is famous for), claimed the Edenborn and the Madiera (a barge the Edenborn was towing) as well as five other ships, within a dozen miles of the Split Rock River. The tragic sinking of these ships fueled the demand for a lighthouse. The fog signal building and lighthouse were completed in 1909 and commissioned one year later.
For 59 years, the keepers at Split Rock warned ships away from the rock and treacherous North Shore with its 370,000-candlepower beacon. In 1971, the federal government deeded the lighthouse station to the State of Minnesota to be operated as a historic site. In 1976, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) assumed operation of the site which included one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. After seeing this beauty in person, we can certainly see why.
It was an awesome start to our lighthouse tour of the Great Lakes. Check back later for more from Minnesota.