August 7, 2015

National Lighthouse Day

There are some things I just love the heck out of.  Like waterfalls and wildflowers. 
Of the man-made type of things I love the heck out of, lighthouses are near the top.

Today, August 7, is National Lighthouse Day. It was on this day in 1789, that Congress approved an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys and public piers.
The designation of National Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that, for hundreds of years, symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea.
At one time, the beacon of light could be found across almost all of America’s shorelines.

We have significant maritime history and some great lighthouses right here in Minnesota. 
Yesterday took us to one of my favorite areas, the north shore of Lake Superior, the most unpredictable, deepest, and coldest of the Great Lakes.
First stop: Two Harbors, MN.   We walked out to the Breakwater Light. 
It was windy out there!

This area is also the site of the Two Harbors Lighthouse, oldest operating lighthouse in Minnesota, overlooking Lake Superior's Agate Bay.  The Keeper's Quarters of the lighthouse now operates as a bed and breakfast.

Of course, some 120 years after completion,  the lighthouse doesn't just overlook Agate Bay, but a large parking lot as well. Parking lots and vehicles aren't my photo forte, so I had to get crafty with composition.

Later evening brought rain clouds and Minnesota's favorite..  Split Rock Lighthouse.
Split Rock Lighthouse was built in response to the great loss of ships during a 1905 storm in which roughly 30 ships were lost on Lake Superior.
Built on a 130-foot sheer cliff, the octagonal building is a steel-framed brick structure on a concrete foundation set into the rock of the cliff.
The light was first lit on July 31, 1910.

While we had raindrops and I eventually got soaked, we also had the place almost entirely to ourselves!

The fog horns:

At the time of its construction, there were no roads to the area.  All building materials and supplies arrived by water and were lifted to the top of the cliff by crane.
A tramway replaced the hoist and derrick in 1916, an inclined rail system that ran uphill, pulling a cart up the tracks by cable.  A highway eventually eliminated the tram.  Its concrete remnants remain next to a great set of stairs. (I didn't count.. but read that there are 174 of them.)

Bummer for me when I reached the bottom (the best view of this iconic lighthouse from land), the pensive skies decided to open up and pour on me..  I got soaked!  Then again, the last time we were there was in good weather, but swarms of people.  You get what you get.

We've been trying to include as many small adventures into our summer as possible.
This was a good one, starting and ending with lighthouses.  (I'll fill in the middle later.)
Wookie enjoyed her first trip to Lake Superior, too. :)

Peace, Love, and Lighthouses,

PS:  Yaquina Head was one of my favorite lighthouses on the Oregon Coast.
And I fell in love with this little Lighthouse for Sale in Michigan a couple of years ago.
Where is your favorite lighthouse?

Sharing with Through My Lens


  1. Really beautiful photos. Nice to see that shot of your kids. A fine photo of them! Wookie girl looks pretty good too!

  2. Amanda I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these lighthouses and your beautiful photos. So often there are sad stories behind the installation of lighthouses. Love the keeper's quarters of the first. I think I'd rather the damp weather without the crowds - most the time - so much more atmosphere too.

  3. I think you did a great job getting pictures of those lighthouses, but I love that last picture with Wookie and the kids the best! I don't have any lighthouse favorites, but I sure do enjoy yours. :-)

  4. I too love lighthouses! Split Rock lighthouse is lovely. Quite a dramatic stetting, perched on that high cliff. Although I love Yaquina Head, Heceta Head on the Oregon Coast is my fave llighthouse. :) Fabulous photos, especially the last one of your kids and Wookie.

  5. What beautiful shots of the lighthouse! Wookie looks happy.

  6. Nice post - light houses are a good reason to talk a walk! And I think they deserve their own day!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  7. Wonderful Lighthouse visit . . .
    Love your photos . . .
    And Wookie seems adjusting very well!
    Sitting patiently perfectly . . . wow!
    The "littles" of the family are growing UP!

  8. Your children have grown so much! What a wonderful outing it must have been according to your pictures.
    I love lighthouses -my favorite one is at the North Sea in the North of Germany -very remote and beautiful.

  9. Hello Amanda, wonderful series of lighthouses. and photos. I like visiting the lighthouses too, I have a few favorites from Cape May and in the Outer Banks. Cute shots of your family and pup! Enjoy your day!

  10. Split Rock bring many fond memories of camping along the North Shore as a young boy with my parents and younger brothers. We usually ended up on Sawbill Lake and the entrance to the Boundary Waters...

  11. I love that shot of the lighthouse on the cliff from a distance. I am in a Flickr photography group and these week we are studying negative space, and that is a great example of it. Growing up on Lake Michigan, I too am a huge fan of lighthouses, we have Big Red within five minutes of my house, but I love to get out and explore and see others all along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

  12. My husband and I have toured many lighthouses around the Great Lakes and stayed in a Lifesavers quarters made into a sort of b&b on the shores of Whitefish Point at Whitefish Point Lighthouse. It felt like we were the only ones on earth. There was an Edmund Fitzgerald Museum there that was very interesting.

  13. I love lighthouses - and yours look so different from our German ones at the North Sea or Baltic Sea Coast. Your Minnesota lighthouses look similiarly to some I know from the Danish coast on the island of Bornholm.
    Regards from Germany, Uwe.

  14. Thanks for the multiple comments! I also know some kids who would have been excited to see the Transformers!

    Stewart M - Melbourne