With the increase in copper production came greater demand for large-scale commercial transportation. In the mid to late 1800s, Lake Superior served as a major maritime transportation route and was used to transport vast amounts of copper and other materials. Lighthouses were strategically built to help safely guide ships along the rocky coastlines and aided vessels coming in and out of the Copper Country. Today, Keweenaw lighthouses continue to operate and serve as important navigational guides for freighters traveling through Lake Superior but can operate unmanned.
The Keweenaw Peninsula features 8 lighthouses that are actually located on the Peninsula as well as 7 that are on Isle Royale National Park or off the shore of the Keweenaw. Copper Harbor Lighthouse was the first to be built in 1849 but was dismantled and the original stones were used to build the current structure that was built and lit by 1866.
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse is the only lighthouse open to the public for tours, but many can still be admired from outside. Noah's Ark Charters also leads boat tours to see the Copper Harbor Lighthouse.
Kayakers paddle near the Jacobsville Lighthouse near the South Entry of Portage Lake.
From 7,000 years ago to the 1900s people mined Keweenaw copper. Native peoples made copper into tools and trade items. Investors and immigrants arrived in the 1800s…