Flashback Friday: Split Rock Lighthouse ceased operations this week in 1969

Updated: January 03, 2020 02:53 PM

Split Rock Lighthouse on the shores of Lake Superior has been a Minnesota icon since its construction in the early 20th century. However, it has not been a functioning lighthouse in over 50 years.

The Minnesota Historical Society says that construction began on the lighthouse in 1907. On Nov. 28, 1905, a single storm known as the "Mataafa storm," damaged 29 ships on the lake. Two of them were felled on the rocky shoreline near the location that would eventually house Split Rock Lighthouse.


The lighthouse and fog signal are built on a cliff 133 feet above Lake Superior. It was finished in 1910 for the exorbitant price of $75,000.

During the early part of Split Rock's history, the lighthouse was only accessible by water. That was until 1924, when the Lake Superior International Highway was completed nearby.

Operations at the lighthouse ceased operations in 1969 due to an increase in new navigational technologies.

The site was acquired by the State of Minnesota in 1971, and administrative responsibility was given to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1976.

Today, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is open to the public. The 25-acre site is home to numerous trails, scenic views and places to camp.

More information about visiting Split Rock Lighthouse can be found here.

Connect with KSTP

Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.


Charlie Wiese

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


Minnesota prepares to create 3,300 additional hospital beds for COVID-19 surge

Lawmakers consider expanding workers' comp for front line workers with COVID-19

Rent still due for renters during COVID-19 pandemic

FBI warning the public about 'Zoom-bombing' of video chats

White House projects 100K to 240K US deaths from virus