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The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and the land. It is built on a 130-foot (40 m) sheer cliff of anorthosite. The lighthouse was first lit on July 31, 1910. It was built in response to the loss of ships during the famous Mataafa Storm of 1905, in which 29 ships were lost on Lake Superior.
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