Split Rock Lighthouse historic site temporarily closed after lightning strike

Split Rock Lighthouse sits atop a 160-foot cliff.
Split Rock Lighthouse sits atop a 160-foot cliff, 40 miles up the North Shore from Duluth.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News file

The iconic Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore will be closed to visitors Tuesday and Wednesday after a lightning strike affected the historic site on Monday.

Officials at the site, which is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, reported online that "the strike hit a tree in our parking lot and connected with a light pole and the current traveled back to the visitor center affecting some of our systems internally. We just need a few days to assess other parts of the property."

Officials said there were no injuries, and no damage to the historic lighthouse buildings. They're tentatively planning to reopen to visitors on Thursday.

The lighthouse and visitor center are separate from the surrounding Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, which remains open to visitors — including trails that offer views of the lighthouse from the Lake Superior shore below.

Split Rock Lighthouse was completed in 1910, in the wake of a storm five years earlier that resulted in numerous shipwrecks across the Great Lakes — including several along the North Shore.

The landmark light closed in 1969, and later reopened as a historic site.

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