Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Minnesota

This lighthouse is the prime attraction on the North Shore, so of course we had to stop. So did everyone else on the North Shore. The place was crawling, but we still enjoyed ourselved thoroughly.

Split Rock Lighthouse

The visitor center had an informative display and a video on how and why the lighthouse was built. It appears that the decision to build it here was mostly political — wealthy steel barons found it cheaper and easier to get the government to build a lighthouse than it would have been to upgrade their ships. It began operating in 1910 and was decommissioned in 1969. The light is 168 feet above Lake Superior.

Split Rock Lighthouse - taken by Steve Wick

There were three houses built for the keepers and their families, each with its own barn (the two remaining of which can be seen in the photo below). We were allowed in the first house which has been restored to its 1920s appearance. We also took the obligitory walk down the long stairway to the shore to take advantage of the classic photo op of the lighthouse on the cliff. The stairway ran alongside the old tramway that was used to bring supplies to the keepers until the road was built in 1934.

Keeper's house - Split Rock Lighthouse

We were also able to enter the lighthouse and climb to the landing just below the light. We wandered around and took photos from every possible angle before heading east toward more adventures.

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