Split Rock Lighthouse Commemorates Loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald with Annual Beacon Lighting

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 23, 2013
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 • megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 • jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Quick facts: 

Event: Annual Beacon Lighting to Commemorate Loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Date: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013
Time: Noon to 6 p.m.
Place: Split Rock Lighthouse, 3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd., Two Harbors
Cost: $7 per person; free for MHS members.
Call for more information 218-226-6372
Website: http://www.mnhs.org/splitrock

Split Rock Lighthouse Commemorates Loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald with Annual Beacon Lighting

Situated along the rocky coastline of the North Shore, Split Rock Lighthouse was essential to those who navigated the dangerous waters of Lake Superior from 1910 until technological advancements rendered it obsolete and it was decommissioned in 1969. The annual beacon lighting on Nov. 10 is now the only opportunity for visitors to witness the lit beacon from inside the tower. Once a year the beacon at Split Rock is lit in memory of sailors lost to shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, including the 29 men lost on November 10, 1975 when the Edmund Fitzgerald succumbed to one of Lake Superior's notoriously powerful storms.

edmundfitzgerald The lighthouse will close temporarily at 4:30 p.m., when the names of the Edmund Fitzgerald's 29 lost crew members will be read to the tolling a of a ship's bell during a moving ceremony on the lighthouse steps. After completion of the ceremony, the beacon will be lit and tours of the tower will resume, providing a rare opportunity for visitors to see the lighthouse beacon up close. Learn more about the Edmund Fitzgerald in the Visitor Center theater, where a film about the freighter will play continuously throughout the afternoon.After the tour, take a hike down to the lakeshore for more photos of the lighthouse or visit the 2,200-acre Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, operated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. It is recommended that visitors dress warmly and bring a flashlight if visiting after sunset. The lighthouse and fog building will be open from noon until 6 p.m. for this popular event.

About Split Rock Lighthouse

The Minnesota Historical Society site is located in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park on U.S. Hwy. 61, 20 miles northeast of Two Harbors. Restored to its 1920s appearance, the lighthouse offers a glimpse of life in this remote and spectacular setting. Tour the lighthouse, fog-signal building and the restored keeper’s dwelling. The visitor center features an award-winning film, exhibits and a museum store. For more information, call 218-226-6372.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.