Eagle Harbor in Keweenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and Museums
In the mid-19th century, when roads to this area were almost non-existent, the infant community of Eagle Harbor saw a dramatic increase in waterborne commerce, including incoming settlers and supplies and outgoing shipments of copper and logs.
Lake Superior's unreliable disposition meant that incoming and passing ships needed navigational assistance, and in 1851 the original lighthouse was commissioned. The wooden tower, which supported a light illuminated by sperm oil lamp, quickly deteriorated and was replaced in 1871 by the present red brick structure. In 1895 a fog signal was added, and in 1929 a radio beacon was installed to further assist lake navigation and communication between ship and shore.
In 1968, the original Fresnel lens was replaced by aviation beacon-type red and white lights, which beam their warnings to ships more than 20 miles offshore. After serving under 21 keepers during its first 129 years, the lighthouse became automated in 1980.
The Keweenaw County Historical Society became the 22nd "keeper of the light" in 1982, and through museum exhibits, period furnishings and interpretive devices, the proud
Besides the lighthouse there are three museums on the lighthouse site. The Maritime Museum is in the old fog signal and watch building, Keweenaw History Museum in the garage building near the entrance, and the Commercial Fishing Museum in the white Assistant Lightkeeper's house.
The brown Assistant Lightkeeper's house is available to society members for weekly rental in the summer and fall - it is a spectacular setting in which to soak up the atmosphere and history of the Keweenaw.
In 1999 the Congress of the United States transferred ownership of the Eagle Harbor Light Station to the Historical Society. The Coast Guard continues to operate the light at the top of the tower.
Information about the Society and its other Keweenaw sites and museums is available at the lighthouse.
Erected by Keweenaw County Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 47° 27.575′ N, 88° 9.601′ W. Marker is in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, in Keweenaw Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 670 Lighthouse Road, Mohawk MI 49950, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wood-Stock Anchor (a few steps from this marker); Fog Signal Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Iron-Stock Anchor (within shouting distance of this marker); Riveted Bell Buoy (within shouting distance of this marker); Michigan DNR Marina (within shouting distance of this marker); Eagle Harbor Entrance Channel and Range Lights (within shouting distance of this marker); Eagle Harbor (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Eagle Harbor General Store (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eagle Harbor.
Regarding Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and Museums. National Register of Historic Places #84001745.
Also see . . .
1. Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. Lighthouse friends website entry: