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Squeezed between Orchard Lake on the west, and Sylvan Lake to the east, Keego Harbor is the third-smallest city in Michigan, by land area.

An outer suburb in the Detroit Metro Region, Keego Harbor is in an area peppered with lakes of various sizes, and the city has a shoreline along Cass Lake to the west and Sylvan Lake to the northeast, although Dollar Lake and another smaller body of water are the only lakes within its city limits.

Although small, by land area, Keego Harbor is the most densely populated city in Oakland County, and one of the most densely populated cities in the state. With a land area of 0.54 square miles, its estimated population for 2020 is more than 3,300.

Orchard Lake Road and Cass Lake Road are the chief routes through the city. Besides Orchard Lake and Sylvan Lake, there are several cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Keego Harbor, including Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Lake Angelus, Franklin, Farmington Hills, Walled Lake, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Auburn Hills, Beverly Hills, Wolverine Lake, Clarkston, Farmington, Wixom, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Berkley, Troy, Clawson, Lathrup Village, Milford, Southfield, Novi, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park, Northville, Utica, Madison Heights, Lake Orion, Ferndale, Sterling Heights, Livonia, Oxford, South Lyon, Highland Park, and Detroit.

The city was founded along several Native American shoreline trails. The first European-American settlers came in the mid to late 1820s, and they included farmers, fishermen, tradespeople, storekeepers, and domestic workers, along with wealthy people from Pontiac, who bought up large parcels of land along Cass Lake for summer homes.

The Detroit Urban Railway built a trolley from Detroit to Pontiac and Farmington, with a stop in Keego Harbor. Of course, this opened up opportunities for local businesses to transport goods and services, and brought vacationers from the surrounding urban areas to the lakes. The railway also allowed people to commute to work from Keego Harbor, which helped the transition from a summer vacation spot to a residential community.

Joseph E. Sawyer, an attorney and real estate investor from Pontiac, built three cottages on Willow Beach in 1902, and developed what later became the Cass Lake subdivision, although he called it The Park. By 1912, he had arranged for a canal to be dredged from Dollar Lake to Cass Lake, converting Dollar Lake into a harbor, which he named Keego Harbor. Keego was an Ojibwe word for a type of fish.

In 1914, Sawyer contributed the land for Keego Harbor's first schoolhouse, with a new school board funding the building. A post office was established on January 16, 1920, with Neil McMillan as the first postmaster, and a fire department was organized in 1926.

Prior to becoming a city, Keego Harbor was part of West Bloomfield Township. It was incorporated as a village in 1954, and became a city in 1955.

As the City of Keego Harbor, Michigan is the focus of this portion of our guide, appropriate resources will include websites representing the city itself, as well as other governmental agencies and programs within the city, local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and sporting and recreational opportunities.


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