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Vintage View of Split Rock Lighthouse

Vintage View of Split Rock Lighthouse

I was hunting through a box of old photographs the other day and I found this — a vintage shot of Split Rock Lighthouse on the north shore of Lake Superior, a place we photographed in 2012.  This original print is a tiny photo — about 1-3/4″ by 3″.  I scanned it at high resolution and blew it up.  It is presented here in unrestored condition. I intend to digitally restore it in the future.

In the years following the construction of the Lake Superior International Highway (1924), tourists began visiting Split Rock more frequently. Based on some distinguishing characteristics I’ve detailed below, I believe this photo is from the 1925 to 1930 time-frame.  The photographer and the couple in the shot are unknown.

Split Rock Lighthouse

A man and a woman pose in front of the lighthouse.

Split Rock Lighthouse

The woman in this photo appears to be clutching a book or perhaps a handbag.  She appears to be dressed in twenties or thirties-period clothing… is she wearing a bonnet?

Split Rock Lighthouse

In 1936, the retaining wall on the right had a chain link fence installed across the top, but there’s no sign of the fence posts or the fence in this photo, so we know it’s pre-1936.  UPDATE: Lee Radzak, a representative from the Minnesota Historical Society and Site Manager for the lighthouse dates this photo between the late 20’s and mid-30’s.  Lee says: “This appears to be a tourist’s snapshot.  I would put the date at circa 1930.”

Split Rock Lighthouse

Interesting.  Although this lighthouse has a spiral staircase inside, there is a ladder propped up on the exterior in this shot. I don’t have an explanation for that. Perhaps they were painting the stairs inside? Please comment if you know.

To see photos from my trip to Split Rock in 2012, click here.

Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC



Canal Park and Aerial Lift Bridge

Canal Park and Aerial Lift Bridge

Canal Park in Duluth is a very enjoyable place to spend some time if you love the outdoors, the water, and drinking and dining.  The main attraction is really the aerial lift bridge, but there is a ton to see and do.  We visited for three days and had a great time.

Pictured above are the two lighthouses at the tip of each pier at the entrance from Lake Superior to the Duluth-Superior Harbor.  The ships travel the channel in between the two piers, under the aerial lift bridge.

This is the aerial lift bridge.  It is an amazing sight.  It started out as an aerial transporter — or gondola — bridge.  It was one of only two transporter bridges ever constructed in the United States.  Originally, a gondola hung from the superstructure, and vehicles would be loaded onto the gondola, and then transported across the harbor — like a ferry suspended from the bridge.  In 1930, the gondola was replaced with the lift bridge road surface — a roadway that raises and lowers every half hour to allow ships to pass underneath.

This lighthouse resides on the north pier and is a popular tourist destination.  It’s is a stone’s throw from the Comfort Suites, right on the Lakewalk.

In the photo above, you can see the lift bridge going up on the right to allow our boat to pass underneath.  The traffic in canal park gets pretty hairy every time this bridge goes up.

This small bridge is actually a draw bridge which breaks open in the center and raises in two pieces.  It marks the entrance between the harbor and the marina.

We took a Lake Superior and Harbor cruise on this boat, the Vista Star.  The Vista Fleet is a very affordable and fun way to spend an afternoon in Canal Park, Duluth.

When we woke up on the second day of our trip, a fog had rolled in off Lake Superior.

Below is a bird’s eye view of Canal Park.  You can see the lift bridge left of center.  On the left is Lake Superior, and on the right is the Duluth Harbor.

Photos by Troy, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC


Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse and the state park of the same name are about 40 minutes northeast of Duluth, just down the highway from Two Harbors. It is a very enjoyable stop on the North Shore of Lake Superior, highly recommended if you’re in the area.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

This is the former staff housing and restored lighthouse keeper’s residence.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse



Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

This is the former Tramway cable house.  The concrete pillars to the left once supported a railroad track which ran all the way down to Lake Superior.  It was used to haul all the materials the keeper needed from ships on the lake up to the lighthouse.  In 1934, a road was finally built to the lighthouse, and the tramway fell out of use.  Today there is a very long wooden stairway which runs beside the old tramway, down to the beach.  It’s beautiful, and it’s also quite a workout.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

See Also: Vintage View of Split Rock Lighthouse

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC