More than 35 light house keepers and their families have lived at Split Rock Light House. This week, we were lucky enough to experience this historical gem with the current light house keeper, Hayes Scriven.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is just under 7 miles from Cove Point Lodge. Ride your bike (or one of ours) on the Gitchi Gami bike trail for scenic views of Lake Superior along the way!
The lighthouse came to fruition on July 31st, 1910, after a terrible storm in 1905 damaged or sank 29 ships on the western portion of Lake Superior.
The bivalve Fresnel lens that was built by Barbier, Benard, & Turene was built in Paris, France, and weighs almost 6.5 tons. When the light was in operation, it revolved every 20 seconds, and could be seen 22 miles away. The lens is moved by gears driven by cables and weights, similar to how a grandfather clock operates. The lens floats on a thin layer of mercury.
An $8.00 Grounds Pass gets you access to the visitor center, fog signal building, and historic grounds. We also enjoyed a really great movie that covers the entire history of the lighthouse in the visitor center theatre.
Through April 30th, the grounds are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.
For $25, park-goers experience a 45-minute guided Keeper’s Tour. Currently, due to Covid-19 considerations, this is the only way to access the interior of the light house and the keeper’s house. To pre-purchase your grounds pass, or to schedule a keeper’s tour, please visit https://www.mnhs.org/splitrock. The Keeper’s Tour is offered Saturdays at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, and Sundays at 10:30 am. These tours are selling out quickly, so we recommend booking well in advance.
To experience the beauty of Split Rock Lighthouse through the eyes of Hayes, (which we also highly recommend) click here. His enthusiasm, respect, and love for the history of the lighthouse and the surrounding land are contagious, and we can’t wait to get ourselves back there this spring!