Split Rock Lighthouse ceremony to mark 40th anniversary of Edmund Fitzgerald sinking

Tuesday’s 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior will be remembered with a ceremonial lighting of the Split Rock Lighthouse.

Twenty-nine crew members on the ore ship died in the Nov. 10, 1975, sinking, which is memorialized by Gordon Lightfoot’s song.

The annual Split Rock lighting on the anniversary is the only time each year when visitors can climb the tower after dark and see the lit beacon.

The lighthouse was built after shipwrecks on the lake during a November, 1905, storm. It’s been restored to its 1920s condition and is a National Historic Landmark, operated by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Wednesday’s schedule at Split Rock, near Two Harbors:

  • The lighthouse and fog signal building will be open from Noon-6 pm. The visitor center and store will stay open until 6:30 pm. The beacon will stay lit until 7 pm. 
  • 12:30-3:30 pm: Introductory tours (20 minutes) every half hour
  • Noon-6 pm. Edmund Fitzgerald Disaster film (12 minutes) shown in the visitor center theater every half hour (except 4 and 4:30 pm)
  • 4:30 pm. The lighthouse will close temporarily while the names of the crew members are read to the tolling of a ship’s bell and the playing of the Naval Hymn
  • 4:45 pm. The beacon will be lit and the lighthouse will reopen to visitors.

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