A Landscape Illuminated: An Archaeological Investigation into the Built Landscape of Split Rock Lighthouse

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Placed into operation in 1910, Split Rock Lighthouse originally sat atop a rocky landscape devoid of any lawn. Over the years, the men who worked at the lighthouse undertook the massive endeavor of building a level and functional landscape that is seen today. These landscape building efforts are documented in historic logbooks and diaries and the changes are clearly visible through historic photography. This thesis is an investigation into how the landscape was built, when it was built, and where the building took place. Utilizing historic documentation, archaeological fieldwork, and GIS technology, I demonstrate when the building occurred, the seasonal nature of landscape building at the lighthouse, where most fill materials were added, and begin exploring where the soils may have come from. This investigation treats the landscape as an archaeological artifact to paint a richer picture of the lives of the historic lighthouse keepers of Split Rock Lighthouse.