Lighthouses at Split Rock and Two Harbors

Yesterday we did a little sight-seeing in the area near Gooseberry Falls State Park. We started by visiting the quilt shop in Beaver Bay. I'll tell you about that in a separate post. For now, I want to tell you about the other sights we saw yesterday.

We started at the Lighthouse at Split Rock. Several of you (and much of what I have read about the area) stated that this was a must-see. We were very glad we stopped by since it was extremely interesting. The price of admission was a little steep at $9 each, but we were glad we did it.

We started our tour at the lighthouse keeper's residence.

Right at the front door was a wash tub. I'm so glad I've never had to do laundry this way.

There was a sort of "living room" just inside the front door, but this room would have been a multi-purpose room. There wasn't really any comfy sofa for sitting, but there was a rocker and a place to lie down.

And I knew you were going to enjoy seeing this beautiful treadle sewing machine.

Here's a part of the kitchen.

They had a pot of soup going on this wood-burning stove, and it made the place smell so homey.

They also had period music playing on this machine. We aren't absolutely sure, but we think this might be one of the original gramophones.

Here's the pantry.

All my life I've wanted to take a bath in a tub like this one.

I was curious to see what they had in their medicine chest. Vaporizing balm anyone?

There were bedrooms upstairs, and I knew you were going to love seeing these quilts. This is the master bedroom.

And two children's rooms.

Watch your step, please.

If you had lived where the lighthouse keeper lived, you would have seen this view looking south.

Here's another view of the lighthouse.

There were about two dozen steps to the top where the light was turning. This lighthouse is no longer operational. It ceased operation in 1969. It was built in 1908 after the "Storm of the Century" which occurred in 1905. Something on the order of 14 ships were sunk or heavily damaged in that storm. 141 ships total have been lost in the Great Lakes. It is a dangerous place because of the instant change in the waters when a storm comes up.

Mike was most interested in this gear apparatus, and he figured out how it worked. The keeper had to wind it about every two hours and a system of weights turned the light as it wound down. It turned on what was essentially a giant clock drive.

We couldn't get up to the area level with the light, and so this picture isn't very good taken from below. Still, you can see the heavy glass in the lens.

This gentleman was dressed in the authentic uniform of the lighthouse keeper. He told us, however, that this was too dirty a job to wear this uniform all the time. Instead, it was only worn on inspection days that occurred about every six months.

I was intrigued by the insignia on his lapels and hat that had a gold script "K" in the center. I thought about this for a bit and then figured out it stood for "Keeper".

We ended our tour in the gift shop where I picked up my refrigerator magnet and shot glass collectibles. When I took a liking to the occasional shot of tequila, we began purchasing shot glasses. It never was supposed to turn into a collection, but it has. Now, we reach in blindly to my three dozen or so shot glasses in the trailer (there are more in the camper), and pull them out randomly. It's kind of fun to see what destination turns up. 

Padsworth, this image is for you.

After that, we drove about 20 miles south to see this lighthouse in Two Harbors. The tour here was $5 per head. After being nicked $18 at the previous lighthouse, we decided to forgo the tour here. This was as close as we could get to this lighthouse, which is still operational.

There were a couple of quilt shops listed in Two Harbors, but both turned out to be long-arm quilting businesses. That sometimes happens with my quilt shop app. And so we returned to the campground at Gooseberry Falls, only this time, we took the turn where we could see the actual falls. Here is a panorama of the lower falls.

And I'll just say that this area was absolutely mobbed with people. It was a Saturday, after all; but we had the feeling it was Minnesotans getting in one last nice weekend getaway before the cold of winter sets in.

Airplanes, race cars, machines, and waterfalls are some of Mike's favorite things on this earth. Especially when we can get up close enough to feel the spray coming off the water.

These are the upper falls. One walks under the bridge of Hwy 61 to reach the other side.

Also, there was a sort of plaza with some signs explaining the structures, the bridge, and some of the other parts of the campground, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Core in the 1930's. We have been fortunate in our travels to see many of the works of the CCC. But recall that when I wrote my post from yesterday that I said I thought the area looked volcanic. In fact, it is. This sign explained the rocky shoreline.

And after that, we headed back to our trailer. We took Smitty out for a walk, and I used my macro lens to take pictures of some of the wildflowers near by. Does this look like wild lavender to you?

It doesn't smell exactly like lavender, but it sure looks like it. Here's another shot.

And I'm always a fan of these graceful grasses.

This one looks a lot like the Scotch Broom that grows wild in Oregon, but the plant is completely different.

If I saw these in someone's cultivated garden, I would call them Black-eyed Susans. I don't know if they have a different name when growing wild.

And then there was this one that looks a lot like a miniaturized version of Foxglove.

And this one. I'm betting someone out there can identify these.

So that was our day. I still need to tell you about the quilt shop, but I'll save that for a separate post. (You're going to love the regional prints I bought.)

So today we're back on the road heading for Bayfield, Wisconsin, and another new state for the side of the RV. Yay!!!! That will be our gateway to a view of The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Our original plans called for a boat tour of this area, but then I discovered our ultimate turn-around destination of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Now our plans are to simply see The Apostles from the shoreline, and continue on to Michigan (and another new state!) tomorrow. We already have purchased tickets for a sunset boat tour of the Pictured Rocks, and we're keeping our fingers crossed for good weather and sunny skies. From there, we'll be turning around and heading back west toward home, but there's still lots to see in between.

For now, it's time to get ready to hit the road again. It rained hard last night, but the skies are sunny this morning. We're hoping for better roads on today's journey. If all goes well, it should be a short day.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Betty said...

I really enjoyed the tour of the lighthouse and keeper's residence. The price may seem high, but looks like they put the money to good use. The sewing machine and quilts are lovely. I would love to have a pantry like that in my house. Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a great tour today! I have rugs like those in the keeper's house - what a super Singer on display and all those period quilts and clothing - I think the price of admission certainly helps toward maintaining a piece of history. Safe journeys.

Quilter Kathy said...

So interesting to see the lighthouse photos... I just finished reading Light Betweens Oceans and these photos made me think more about how their home might have looked.

Sher S. said...

Thank you so much for the tour of the lighthouse, I love going into lighthouses and seeing how they are set up. I want to make a quilt with pictures of all the lighthouses I've seen. That price isn't that bad considering the upkeep of the place and grounds, besides paying people to work there. The clothes and quilts were amazing and so was the sewing machine. My grandmother had a treadle machine, wish I had inherited it. The wild flowers were beautiful. Thank you for taking us on your trip, I'm really enjoying it.

Lee said...

Another thank you for the vicarious tour! Looking at the first set of photos reminded me of my Grandma's house in the 50's - her bathroom had only a tub & sink and an enamel pot for other needs, and she was only slightly beyond that washtub set-up - hers was at least electric. Love those quilts, especially the Grandmother's Flower Garden. Thank you for sharing :)

quiltzyx said...

Loved the lighthouse tour - I wonder how many quilts they would really have needed on each bed in the winter? And what a view to have! Would it be as spectacular when you see it every day? I hope so. Cool to see the gears & the Fresnel glass lens of the beacon.
Thanks to Mike for giving scale to the size of the falls! Hope he didn't get too wet.
Beautiful flowers. I couldn't match them all, but the first yellow flower is definitely a Bird's Foot Trefoil (lotus corniculatus) and I think the last reddish pink one is a Spotted Joe-pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum).

Continued safe travels!

Karen said...

Welcome to the Great Lake Area!! the Lakes are wonderful...we are moving to SC across the Savannah River near Augusta...this land is a wonderful place to explore! Be safe!!

Christine M said...

Thanks for the tour of the lighthouse Barbara. I really enjoyed that. When we renovated the boys' bathroom last year we put in a bath like that one. I still haven't tried it, only cleaned it! LOL!

Dora, the Quilter said...

Thank you so much for the tour!
As for the bathtub--that is exactly like the bathtub in a house I rented for much of the 1970s. I loved that tub--and if I had been advised of when they tore the house down I would have somehow managed to haul that tub over a thousand miles to my current home. I still remember it several times a week and wish I had it in my current home!

Sharon Sauser said...

You sure have been seeing some gorgeous scenery this trip. I love those falls. A little ways back, you mentioned all the bald eagles you had seen. A few weeks ago, we took a jetboat from Harrisburg to Corvallis and back, and saw several bald eagles and some blue herons. Are you getting anything done on the embroidery you took along? Sharon

Tami C said...

I loved today's tour! I've only been in the Sea Girt, NJ light house, but it had been turned into a library. It was just 2 blocks away from my Aunt's house. Sure sounds like you two are having fun!

Brown Family said...

I love water falls, too! And Lighthouses! I really enjoyed todays trip!

Lyndsey said...

The tour of the lighthouse was fun. I loved seeing the sewing machine and the quilts.