Split Rock Lighthouse designated a National Historic Landmarkby Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — The National Park Service has designated Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior as a National Historic Landmark.
Split Rock Lighthouse was built in 1910, a few years after a massive November storm wrecked nearly 30 ships.
"The Great Lakes shipping industry and the government knew that something had to be done to warn shippers away from the North Shore, which is a dangerous piece of water, a very rocky shore," said Lee Radzak with the Minnesota Historical Society. Radzak said it went on to play a critical role in the nation's economy.
"When you look at Great Lakes shipping, the importance of the iron ore industry to Minnesota and the country, this lighthouse was here through two world wars and all the iron that came off the Minnesota iron ranges and passed by this light," Radzak said.
The Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 1969 and deeded it to Minnesota two years later.
An ancient burial ground near International Falls known as Grand Mound was also named a National Historic Landmark. Dating back to 200 B.C., it's the largest surviving prehistoric structure in the Upper Midwest.