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Caretakers of the past, stewards of the future.

The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse 

Fresnel LensThe copper mining industry began on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the 1840s. Lake Superior’s unreliable disposition meant that passing ships needed navigational assistance, and in 1851 the original lighthouse was built. The wooden tower which supported a fourth-order Fresnel lens illuminated by an oil lamp soon deteriorated, and in 1871 it was replaced by the present red brick structure. In 1895 a fog signal was added.

In the 1960s, the Fresnel lens was replaced by aviation beacon-type white and red lights, which beam their warning to ships more than 20 miles offshore. After being tended by 22 keepers since 1851, the lighthouse became automated in 1980 and the last personnel left in 1982.

(Photo: A Fourth Order Fresnel Lens, similar to the one originally installed in the tower, is on display in the lighthouse.)

Current Eagle Harbor lightSince 1982 the Keweenaw County Historical Society has maintained four museums at the light station. Besides the lighthouse, they include a Maritime Museum in the old fog signal building, a Keweenaw History Museum located in the old U. S. Coast Guard Station garage, and Commercial Fishing Museum located in one of the assistant keepers' buildings.

(Photo: The current Marine Rotating Beacons equipped with a 12 volt/75 watt lamp/bulb at the top of the tower lacks the romance of the Fresnel lens but is much more efficient.)

Inside the lighthouse parlorIn 1999, Congress transferred ownership of the Eagle Harbor Light Station to the Keweenaw County Historical Society. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to operate the light at the top of the tower as an active navigational aid, and as such, the top of the tower is not open to visitors.

(Photo: Care has been taken to decorate the inside of the lighthouse, including the parlor shown here, in a 1930’s style, when electricity first arrived at the lighthouse.)

Visiting The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse Museum

Parking- Please NOTE that the parking lot is small and there is one-way traffic going in and out of the grounds.  Large RVs/campers have GREAT difficulty turning around.

Hours & Admission-  The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and museum complex is open from mid-June to early October.   The 2023 opening date is Sunday, June 18th. June, September and October hours are 12-5 PM.  July and August hours are 10 AM-5 PM,  Monday - Saturday and 12-5 PM on Sunday.  Admission $8.00. Children under 16 and KCHS members free.

Location- The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse Complex is located on Lighthouse Drive, not far from the swimming beach along M26 in Eagle Harbor. GPS: N 47 27.582 W 88 09.558, Decimal Degrees: 47.459705, -88.159300

Related Links-

All sites are closed for the season, but we're starting to thaw out.

KCHS awarded grant to renovate Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

This will allow us to rehabilitate the tower of the lighthouse, replace deteriorated brick and repair damaged plaster.


Keeping a lighthouse has always been a lot about maintenance!

Our volunteers continue the tradition by volunteering skills, labor and loving care.
Karen Hintz (also our vice president) volunteered the grant work that brought this major grant about.

Become a Volunteer

This Grant requires matching funds, so every member is helping to save this historic treasure with their dues.
By becoming a member now, you will be a partner in our endeavor to save, share and understand the unique history of Keweenaw County.

Become a member



Eagle Harbor Inn
Grampa's Barn
Keweenaw Power and Lite

The Keweenaw County Historical Society’s Board of Directors will follow the COVID-19 Epidemic Orders issued by the State of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services.  These public health orders are updated as needed, so KCHS may need to change access to buildings and events.

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