Twenty-four people who actually lived at Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse were joined by 5,000 friends, relatives, and lighthouse enthusiasts for the centennial celebration of a historic lighthouse that stands high above the waters of Lake Superior.
Although an amazing fireworks display topped off the celebration, it was the passing of the lantern that was the most emotional for the former keepers and lighthouse aficionados that attended the event. The lantern containing a lit candle was passed up the steps from the keeper who represented the earliest dates of service, to the most recent keeper and then to Ed Maki, who was dressed in a period uniform of the old U.S. Lighthouse Service. Maki then carried the lantern into the lighthouse tower and illuminated the beacon just before dark.
The attendees at the Split Rock Centennial Celebration comprised one of the largest groups to ever attend a lighthouse event in modern times. Other comparable events include North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras Homecoming held in May 2001 and the relighting of Clark’s Point Lighthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts in June of 2001. In many years, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, held in Alpena, Michigan, has drawn larger crowds, however the festival is not an event for an individual lighthouse. The Split Rock Lighthouse Centennial Celebration is now a part of the great history of a Great Lakes lighthouse.
This story appeared in the
October 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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