Minnesota Historical Society extends closure through June 30

The closure was originally scheduled to end May 4.

Split Rock Lighthouse will be closed to visits through June 30 in response to COVID-19. (Tyler Schank /

The Minnesota Historical Society extended the closure of its historic sites and museums through June 30, and that includes the Split Rock Lighthouse.

Beginning May 1, the historical society will furlough 274 staff members — nearly half of its workforce around the state— through June 30, according to news release. All staff will be paid through April.

"These actions will address strains on the MNHS operating budget as a result of ongoing closures," the news release read.

The closures had originally been scheduled to end May 4.

Staff who can work from home will continue to do so, while critical staff will continue to ensure security of the historical sites. Hiring and spending freezes are continuing.


Kent Whitworth, director and CEO of state's historical society, said it was a painful decision.

“We are doing all we can to support our colleagues, including extending health benefits during their furlough," Whitworth said. "We look forward to reopening our doors and welcoming the public back into our museums, historic sites and library.”

The Split Rock Lighthouse grounds will remain closed, though it can continue to be viewed from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.

The historical society has 26 locations around the state. Along with the Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors, the Northland locations also include the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids.

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