100 YEARS OLD THIS YEAR!
A wonderful tour of this lighthouse, and keepers homes. It is so hard to believe how 100 years ago all this was built on this ROCK! No road to deliver building material. It all had to come by ship from Duluth , and lifted up by derrick up the 100 foot cliff face from boats tied below. Over 310 tons of building materials were lifted up by derrick before a tramway was built. Gusty winds made this a very difficult routine.
Yup! the picture from yesterday, is a portion of this hugh lens of the Split Rock Light House that flashed light at 10 second intervals across 20 miles of Lake Superior's navagation waters. The 6.5 tons of precision equipment traveled from Paris France and was assembled prism by prism in the lantern room. The French came to install it, as they were the only ones that could install it. The beacon is 168 feet above the water level and was in service for nearly 60 years. Kerosene was used to keep it moving (it burns so dirty) and therefore every morning the keeper and wife would clean each prism of that hugh lens and also the windows, so that it would shine brilliant for that night. What a responsibility! Inspectors would come unannounced to white glove check the light lens.
Hubby Steve going down the narrow stairway. I believe that there are 32 steps to get to the top.
Stairway going down to the lake. Very steep, and you see remains of the cement base that was built in 1916 for a tramway that replaced the derrick that lifted all building material and later monthly goods needed by the keepers. The tramway was used until 1934 when a road had been built from Duluth, and the station received a truck to haul its supplies. Storms destroyed the dock for the last time in 1939, so there are no remains of the dock or boathouse.
It's wonderful what the Historical Society has done to keep these memories alive.
The use of radar on ships made the station obsolete and it was closed in 1969. The State of Minnesota obtained the property from the federal government in 1971 and in 1976 the Minnesota Historical Society began to preserve and interpret the station as a museum and nationally known historic site. The adjacent State Park offers hiking, biking, camping, picnicking and exploring the lakeshore. I am so glad we finally went to see this famous light house.