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Situated in the northern portion of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Eagle Harbor, Michigan is an unincorporated community in Eagle Harbor Township, Keweenaw County.

Located in the Upper Peninsula's Copper Country, the only incorporated municipalities within twenty miles of Eagle Harbor are the small villages of Ahmeek and Copper City, and the nearest cities are Hancock and Houlton, more than thirty miles to the south-southwest. The unincorporated communities of Copper Falls, Eagle Nest, Eagle River, Phoenix, and Vaughnsville are within ten miles of Eagle Harbor. The chief route through the community is M-26, which passes through its downtown district. Other routes include Eagle Harbor Road and Delaware Short Cut.

Eliza Creek feeds into Lake Eliza, then continues to the harbor on Lake Superior and, further east, Cedar Creek also empties into the harbor.

As a census-designated place (CDP), Eagle Harbor has a defined border, albeit solely for the purposes of the U.S. Census. However, the CDP boundaries do not necessarily define the areas that might locally be considered part of the community.

Like most of the communities on the Keweenaw Peninsula, the mining industry played the largest role in the founding of the town. Nevertheless, its earliest European-American settlers weren't employed by the mining companies.

Edward Taylor came to the area with a group of men in the fall of 1842, spending the winter of 1842-1843 along the shore of Lake Superior between what is now Copper Harbor and Eagle River. In 1844, Taylor returned to the Keweenaw Peninsula and built a log tavern and warehouse in what later became Eagle Harbor. Although it later burned, Taylor built another saloon, and later added to it, but this building was also damaged by fire in January of 1852. The wood-frame dining room and kitchen were saved from the fire and, under new ownership, James Bawden rebuilt the hotel, naming it the Eagle Harbor Hotel. In 1881, it was purchased by James Rasewarn, a miner who had come from Cornwall, England to work the Copper Falls Mine for eight years before moving to Eagle Harbor.

In the early years, prospectors came each summer to search for copper deposits, and Eagle Harbor served as both a port and a base for these expeditions. As the area was heavily wooded, finding the copper wasn't an easy task, and these prospectors left before the winter seasons came.

The Eagle Harbor Mining Company located in Eagle Harbor in 1845. On October 17 of that year, Franklin Hopkins came with thirteen workers. An early mining agent, he was one of the first copper mining pioneers in the Lake Superior region. He first worked at the North American Mine, and then the Eagle Harbor Mine, remaining with that company for two years.

During the early years, there was only one single-family home in Eagle Harbor, as the mineworkers first lived in tents, and then in boarding houses constructed by the mining companies.

The townsite was platted by a Mr. W. Schlatter, and a post office was opened in Eagle Harbor on May 11, 1847, with Hiram Joy as postmaster. The community was named for its harbor and the abundance of eagles that were in the region then. The office operated until July 31, 1959. The last postmaster in Eagle Harbor was Miss Mary Clare Smith, who had held the position for twenty-eight years. The Mohawk post office now delivers the mail to Eagle Harbor.

The first public school in Eagle Harbor became known as the Pythian School, as a tribute to one of its early teachers, Justus Rathbone. Intrigued with the story of Damon and Pythias, the 18-year-old teacher wrote the Rituals of the Knights of Pythias, which founded a club known as the Knights of Pythias, which later became a nationwide organization, the first to be granted a charter by Congress.

Eagle Harbor has a natural harbor that is about 4,900 feet long and 1,100 feet wide, with an opening that can be entered from the northwest or northeast. The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse sits on the rocky entrance to the harbor, and is a working lighthouse.

Today, of course, the copper industry is gone, and the hamlet has just over seven hundred year-round residents. However, the community receives visitors in the summer month, often using the community as a base to explore the Copper Country and the Keweenaw Peninsula. Scuba divers also visit the many wrecks that are just offshore in the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve.

The focus of this category is on the community of Eagle Harbor, Michigan. Topics related to the hamlet, as well as any businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events within the community are appropriate here.



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