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HomeOutdoorsNew Exhibit at Split Rock Lighthouse Will Examine Relationships with Lake Superior

New Exhibit at Split Rock Lighthouse Will Examine Relationships with Lake Superior

The public is invited to get a first look during North Shore Community Night

TWO HARBORS, Minn. (May 8, 2023) – Split Rock Lighthouse is excited to welcome the public to see first-hand its most extensive programmatic update in a generation. North Shore Community Night (May 26) will be the first chance to explore a new exhibit, which will feature previously untold stories about how the area’s people have tried to control Lake Superior and their interactions with the water.

At the heart of the exhibit will be a full scale replica of the Third Order Fresnel Lens that sits atop the lighthouse. The lens includes 252 prisms and weighs 650 pounds. Sitting in the center of the room increases accessibil­ity, allowing guests to get an unprecedented detailed view of the lens.

Other notable artifacts include the wheel from the Madeira, which sank in 1905 a short distance from where the lighthouse now stands. The wheel sat at the bottom of Lake Superior for decades. The exhibit in the Radzak Family Gallery will also include an increased focus on the lighthouse’s keepers and their families. One of the featured arti­facts will be the hat of Orren Young, Split Rock’s first keeper.

The land on which the lighthouse stands has been home to people for more than 12,000 years. The exhibit will include stories and traditions from the perspectives of those who have lived there, including the Dakota, Ojibwe, French, and English.

Media are invited to preview the exhibit on May 15 and 16. MNHS is happy to provide images for preview coverage, but this will be the first opportunity for interviews and video of the new exhibit. Please email Nick Jung­heim to reserve your spot.

North Shore Community Night runs from 6 pm–10 pm. In addition to exploring the new exhibit, festivities will include live music by Minnesota-based musicians Adam Moe and Nathan Frazer. Food trucks will also be at the event, along with beverages and yard games. At 9 pm, the night will conclude with a bea­con lighting at the lighthouse. Guests are en­couraged to bring a headlamp and dress for the weather. Visitors may need to park at the state park, which may require a sticker.

North Shore Community Night

May 26, 2023
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd.
Two Harbors, MN 55616


Support for the exhibit was made possible thanks to a significant private gift and also in part by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. The Lega­cy Amendment supports efforts to preserve Minnesota land, water and legacy, including Minnesota history and cultural heritage.

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