Split Rock Lighthouse is located southwest of Silver Bay, Minnesota, USA on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The structure was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000. It was built in response to the loss of ships during the famous Mataafa Storm of 1905, in which 29 ships were lost on Lake Superior. One of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse. The light was first lit on July 31, 1910.
It is built on a 130-foot (40 m) sheer cliff. When completed, the lighthouse was lighted with an incandescent oil vapor lamp that burned kerosene. In 1940, the station was electrified and the lamp was replaced with a 1000 watt electric bulb.
The light was retired in 1969 by the U. S. Coast Guard. The lighthouse is now part of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. The site includes the original tower and lens, the fog signal building, the oil house, and the three keepers' houses. It is restored to appear as it did in the late 1920s. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. On June 30, 2011, the lighthouse was designated as a National Historic Landmark.