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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.  The 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.

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

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 on the top, but there’s no sign of the fence posts or the fence in this photo, so we know it’s pre-1936.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Interesting.  Although this lighthouse has a spiral staircase inside, there is a ladder propped up on the exterior in this shot.

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

Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Lunch in Ortonville

Lunch in Ortonville

We stopped for lunch in Ortonville during our trip to photograph some places in July of 2012, and we couldn’t pass up the chance to to shoot a few places in such a beautiful little town.

Ortonville is a small resort town of about two thousand nestled on the southern shore of Big Stone Lake, right on the South Dakota border. Downtown Ortonville cascades down the side of a hill to the beautiful lakeshore, and is dotted with historic structures.  Most notable is the Columbian Hotel.  Although the Columbian looks to have gone through at least a partial restoration at some point, there was no visible activity on the Saturday afternoon we visited.  We’re not sure on the present operational status of the hotel, but it is on on the National Register of Historic Places.

UPDATE:  This hotel burned to the ground just months after our visit.  Sadly, it is gone forever.

Look at those rates!

This is the Ortonville Water Department building, dating to 1933.  It’s right along the shore of the lake.  There’s a public beach and waterfront dock just behind the trees on the right.

See a lot more photos of Ortonville here.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2012 Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg is a small town in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, about 55 miles west of Willmar, or 50 miles northeast of Watertown, South Dakota.

We visited on a Saturday afternoon and it was very quiet.  We saw two or three vehicles drive through while we were there, and there were some kids playing too, but just a little activity from what we saw.  We visited with the intention of getting photos of the historic 1911 Public School.

Louisburg, Minnesota

The Louisburg School is on the National Register of Historic Places due to its significance as one of Minnesota’s best examples of Victorian Public School Design. It was built in 1911 to replace a smaller school, and was originally intended to house two grade school classes on the main floor and two high school classes on the upper floor.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg Public School was shuttered in a consolidation wave in the 1960s and has since fallen into disrepair. The roof of this school is open to the elements and you can see through it from the right angle.  As a result, the floors are all rotted and crumbling.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

A peek through the basement window.

Louisburg, Minnesota

These are the footings from the playground equipment which was removed sometime in the last few years.  There’s another blogger who photographed Louisburg when the playground equipment was still in place.  See it here.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg was platted in 1887 and a Post Office opened in 1888. It was decommissioned in 1992.

If the census records for Louisburg are accurate, this town has gone through somewhat of an influx of residents recently.  According to the 2000 census, Louisburg had 26 residents, but as of 2010, the census tallied 47.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Emmerich’s, built in 1906, was a grocery store for a time.

Louisburg, Minnesota

A peek around the back.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

A sleepy Saturday in Louisburg.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

The Louisburg Fire Station sometimes serves as a gathering place and/or picnic spot for the remaining residents.

Louisburg, Minnesota

This monument commemorating the Louisburg Centennial is right in front of the fire station.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

The former home of the Allen family.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Homeplate on the seldom used baseball diamond.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media



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Wolverton Public School

Wolverton Public School

Wolverton Public School, on north First Street in Wolverton was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 17th, 1980.  It’s a beautiful school and it’s still in great shape.

Photos by Troy
Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC