On June 23, 2011 U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the designation of Split Rock Light Station as a National Historic Landmark. Split Rock has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969 but designation as a national landmark denotes a much higher level of historic significance.
During two world wars and beyond, Split Rock Light Station served as a vital aid to navigation to iron ore carriers carrying iron ore shipments across western Lake Superior from the vast iron ranges in northern Minnesota to the lower Great Lakes for processing. Split Rock is also a highly intact example of an early 20th century Great Lakes light station.
Split Rock is the twelfth light station in the United States and the second light station on the Great Lakes to receive national landmark designation. The light station, an active navigational aid from 1910 to 1969, is now a Minnesota state historic site and is open daily to the public for tours from mid-May through mid-October.