Copper Harbor
“Whether you are climbing mountain peaks or strolling along Lake Superior shores; exploring dark, underground mines or walking through quaint historic villages; discovering the past at local museums or biking past picturesque fall foliage; the scenery and history of the Copper Country is both sublime and captivating. Journey here today and step back in time to when copper was king.” –KeweenawHeritageSites.org
Copper Harbor, or Copper Country, was a very important part of the copper mining industry. It can be broken down into a couple different sites. The first site was Fort Wilkins in the northern Keweenaw Peninsula. It was originally built as a buffer between the Chippewa Indians and the copper miners in 1844. Fort Wilkins was the first commercial mining shaft in the Keweenaw Peninsula. It was not until 1923 that the Michigan Department of Conservation restored it and it when became a state park. It now serves as an example of mid-19th century amry life on the northern frontier.

In 1866, the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, known as the Hays Point, complex began. The lighthouse was built on the eastern point of the land in the entrance of the harbor. This was one of the first lighthouses built on Lake Superior to help shipper navigate by using the light. This improved the way copper was being distibuted around the world. Today, the Copper Harbor Lighthouse along with the light keeper’s house and interpretive trails can be explored for people to see what it would have been like for the miners.


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Class Photos 2012:
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Class Photos 2011:
The above picture demonstrates the size of the housing barracks at the fort. Often times as many as 50 men were to one barracks under crowded, cramped conditions. The facility that we were able to see was half of the size of a barrack. Most of the men living at the fort were single, but in the case of a soldier who was married, they were provided a separate living quarters for them and their family.-Ashley Holloway
The above picture demonstrates the size of the housing barracks at the fort. Often times as many as 50 men were to one barracks under crowded, cramped conditions. The facility that we were able to see was half of the size of a barrack. Most of the men living at the fort were single, but in the case of a soldier who was married, they were provided a separate living quarters for them and their family.-Ashley Holloway


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Cannon at Fort Tally Hooe. -Amber LeClear


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The green in the water is not algae; it is oxidize copper that is imbedded within the rocks of Copper Harbor. Mining operations in the harbor area began approximately fifteen feet away from where this photo was taken. However; operations were moved inland when copper was discovered during the construction of Fort Wilkins. – David Eggleston


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Copper vein in Copper Harbor. -Amber LeClear
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-Amber LeClear
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This is the lighthouse at Copper Harbor, one of the oldest lighthouses. It was built in 1866 near to the shoreline. When mineral oil was introduces in 1887 the light stopped using lard oil; it was until 1919 when the light was converted to acetylene gas, consequently the housekeeper job was no longer needed and he assumed maintenance responsibilities at the lighthouse. Judith Tellez-G


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Estivant Pines is an old growth forest near Copper Harbor. it is maintained by volunteers.-Kait Greathouse





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While visiting Copper Harbor, there were many piles of excess rocks that were once deep within the earth. Now these rocks are exposed because they were dumped on the side of hills. In most cases, the rocks were piled as the workers used gravity to help relocate them to lower locations. - Jeff Janofski


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Soldiers with families lived in these cabins outside the fort. Their wives did laundry and other chores to earn extra money for the family. Photo by Jeff Fisher.


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The floor plans of the lighthouse in Copper Harbor. Jordan Harris