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With a population of 71 at the time of the 2010 census, Eagle River is the least-populated county seat in Michigan. Despite being unincorporated, the hamlet is the seat of government for Keweenaw County, in the northern part of the Upper Peninsula.

As a census-designated place (CDP), the unincorporated community has defined borders for the purposes of the US Census, although these boundaries may differ from what is locally considered to be part of the community. As an unincorporated community, Eagle River is not an autonomous municipality, but is part of Allouez Township of Houghton Township, as it straddles the two townships. However, only a small portion of the CDP is in Allouez Township, with its population being largely in Houghton Township, in the southern northeastern portion of the CDP, and along the coast. The heaviest concentration of commercial buildings and residences is roughly bordered by the Eagle River and Garden City Creek, along Lake Superior and about five blocks inland. Situated along M-26 and US-41, the CDP is bordered by Lake Superior to the northwest and US-41 to the southeast.

There are five incorporated villages within twenty miles of Eagle River: Ahmeek, Copper City, Calumet, Laurium, and Lake Linden. The nearest cities are Hancock and Houghton, about twenty-six and twenty-nine miles to the south. Unincorporated communities within ten miles of Eagle River include Eagle Nest, Phoenix, Vaughnsville, Copper Falls, Mohawk, and Fulton.

Like other Copper Country communities, Eagle River was founded by the copper industry. The Keweenaw Copper Company acquired several leases in 1843, including land that was later laid out by the Phoenix Company, which platted the townsite and sold it off as individual lots. Copper was discovered at the nearby Cliff Range, and these mining operations became known as the Cliff Lode.

A post office was opened on October 24, 1845, with Columbus C. Douglas as its first postmaster. The community was named for the 2.6-mile river that flows into Lake Superior at that location. The river itself had been named for the many eagles that were in the area.

When Keweenaw County was organized in 1861, Eagle River was designated as the county seat, and has remained as the seat of government. Eagle River's status as a busy shipping port and booming mining town was short-lived, as the area's copper mines began declining around 1870, and Allouez, eleven miles to the south, soon outgrew Eagle River.

Today, Eagle River serves as a quiet retreat for tourists who come to the area, particularly during the summer months. The small community has a beach, miles of shoreline, and a decommissioned lighthouse. Situated along the south side of M-16, as it enters the community, Eagle River Falls is a popular place for tourists. With a height of more than sixty feet, it has upper and lower falls.

Eagle River is also home to the Eagle River Timber Bridge, a wooden arch bridge over the Eagle River on M-26. It was completed in 1990 as a replacement for the historic Lake Shore Drive Bridge, which runs parallel to it, currently serving as a pedestrian bridge.

The focal point of this guide is on the community of Eagle River, Michigan. Online resources for the community itself, or any businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities are appropriate for this category.



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