Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Copper Harbor in Keweenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Copper Harbor Lighthouse

 
 
The Copper Harbor Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
1. The Copper Harbor Lighthouse Marker
Inscription.  The discovery of copper and dangers of navigation created a demand for lighthouses on Lake Superior.

Built in 1848 and replaced by the present structure in the 1860s, the Copper Harbor lighthouse was among the first beacons on Lake Superior. Now automated and mounted on a steel tower, the light can be seen a distance of 12.5 miles at lake level.

Government lightkeepers and their families manned the light station into the 20th century. Drawing from historical, archaeological and architectural evidence, period room settings recreate the lighthouse as it appeared in the 1910s.

Part of Fort Wilkins State Park, the Copper Harbor Lighthouse is administered by the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources. The Fort Wilkins Natural History Association is gratefully acknowledged for its support of this exhibit.

Today, museum exhibits and interpretive trails tell of the dangers of Lake Superior shipping and the duties and home life of lightkeepers' families. Breathtaking views are virtually unchanged since lightkeepers and their families cared for the Copper Harbor
Marker detail: Lighthouse Interior image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Lighthouse Interior
light.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list.
 
Location. 47° 28.065′ N, 87° 51.952′ W. Marker is in Copper Harbor, Michigan, in Keweenaw County. Marker can be reached from Fanny Hoe Creek 0.1 miles north of U.S. 41. Marker is mounted in a kiosk along the Copper Harbor trail in Astor Shipwreck Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Copper Harbor MI 49918, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "A Rallying Point for Copper Adventurers" (here, next to this marker); Shipwreck (here, next to this marker); Life on the Astor (a few steps from this marker); "You will call her the John Jacob Astor." (a few steps from this marker); "The Astor will never leave Copper Harbor." (a few steps from this marker); The Estivant Pines (approx. 1.1 miles away); Fort Wilkins State Park and Historic Complex (approx. 1.1 miles away); Copper Harbor (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Copper Harbor.
 
Regarding The Copper Harbor Lighthouse. National Register of Historic Places #12000305
 
Also see . . .
1. Copper Harbor Light (Wikipedia)
Marker detail: Lens Exhibit image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Lens Exhibit
. The Copper Harbor Lighthouse was built on the tip of the eastern point of land that hugs the harbor. The lighthouse aided in the transport of copper from the Upper Peninsula. Ships carrying immigrants, supplies, and equipment increased dramatically. The first tower was constructed in 1848. The station was established in 1849. A Fresnel lens was installed in 1856. The stone masonry was dismantled, and the stones used as the foundation for the replacement lighthouse built in 1866. (Submitted on July 29, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Copper Harbor Lighthouse. The second (1866) Copper Harbor Lighthouse was built with widely used plans and consists of a square, brick tower attached to the gable end of a one-and-a-half-story keeper’s dwelling. The forty-two-foot-tall tower is nine-feet, eight inches square and features a foot-thick outer wall and a four-inch-thick, circular, inner wall that encloses a cast-iron staircase for accessing the dwelling’s second floor and the decagonal lantern room. (Submitted on July 29, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Copper Harbor Light. In 1933, the decision was made to erect a 62-foot high steel skeleton tower. The Fresnel lens in the old lantern was a delicate assembly, and not intended to be installed in a location where it would
Marker detail: Copper Harbor Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Copper Harbor Lighthouse
How Do You Get There? Public access to the Copper Harbor Lighthouse is by boat concession. The boat leaves from the Copper Harbor Marina located off M-26.
be directly exposed to the elements. The Fourth Order lens was thus disassembled and shipped to the Detroit depot for storage, and the new steel tower capped with a 300-mm lens. The Coast Guard, which had assumed responsibility for the nation's aids to navigation in 1939, decided that it no longer wished to serve as landlord at Copper Harbor, and placed the building and reservation up for sale in 1957. The State of Michigan purchased the buildings for $5,000, and incorporated them into the Fort Wilkins State Park. (Submitted on July 29, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
The Copper Harbor Lighthouse Marker Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
5. The Copper Harbor Lighthouse Marker Kiosk
Copper Harbor Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
6. Copper Harbor Lighthouse
(looking north across Copper Harbor from near marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 29, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 7, 2021