The View From Split Rock
A Lighthouse Keeper's Life
A modern lighthouse keeper tells the fascinating stories of his tenure at a celebrated historic site.
Author: Lee Radzak, with Curt Brown
Split Rock Lighthouse is a Minnesota icon: a handsome structure perched atop a cliff on Lake Superior’s North Shore, gorgeous in every weather, a lonely outpost overlooking the vastness of the lake. Except that this lighthouse is not lonely. It’s one of the state’s most visited historic sites.
In 1982, Lee Radzak and his wife, Jane, moved into the middle keeper’s house, launching Lee’s career as the resident site manager for the Minnesota Historical Society. Over the next thirty-six years, they raised a family, marveled at the lake’s beauty, endured gigantic storms, and answered the questions posed by more than four million visitors.
Working with journalist and author Curt Brown, Radzak takes readers into the everyday experiences, the remarkable surprises, and the seasonal round of the life of a lighthouse keeper at Split Rock. He also discusses stories of its keepers, the technology that powered the light and the foghorns, the stunning landscape and weather of the North Shore, and his decision in 1985 to light the beacon in memory of the crew of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
Organized by season, illustrated with pictures taken by Lee and other talented photographers, this book offers a guide to life at Split Rock.
Lee Radzak served for thirty-six years as the resident site manager at the Minnesota Historical Society’s Split Rock Lighthouse.
Curt Brown, the author of So Terrible a Storm: A Tale of Fury on Lake Superior and Minnesota, 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State, writes a popular Minnesota history column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.