Friday, July 17, 2020

Copper Harbor

Fort Wilkins married housing, located just outside the gates of the fort

Thursday we set out to explore Copper Harbor, about 15 miles and 30 minutes from our RV park, and right on Lake Superior.  It is an unincorporated area near the end of Keweenaw Peninsula.  We visited Copper Harbor, Fort Wilkins, and Lake Fanny Hooe.  Fort Wilkins  was located in Fort Wilkins State Park.  This is a restored 1844 military outpost that defended the copper miners from Chippewa Indians during the copper boom.  It was used from 1844-1877.   The Works Projects Administration, WPA, stabilized the few remaining buildings and reconstructed the fort from 1939-1942.  There are 19 structures, 12 of which are original, including the Light House that is further down the road.







Fort Wilkins black smith shop

Store that operated for a short time.  The building was then used for socials, cards, etc.

Ice House

Looking from the Fort towards Lake Fanny Hooe.

Copper Harbor consists of only a few blocks.  There are a couple of restaurants, a gas station, small grocery, a few touristy things, camping, cabins, cottages, motels, beach, mountain bike trails and more.  There is a small boating area where they have kayak tours and rent mountain bikes.

A motel in Copper Harbor.  The little building in front is the office.

Copper Harbor


Copper Harbor one-room school.  One of 20 actively operating one-room schools in Michigan. It was established in 1850 and currently serves preschool through 8th grade, ranging from 2 to 16 students.

Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Chapel in Copper Harbor with one Mass on Sun. night.

On our way to Copper Harbor we went towards Bete Grise.  They had a nice beach and the Mendota Lighthouse.  The light house looked to be reachable only by boat.  We couldn't find a road on the other side.

Beach on the road to Bete Grise.  Bete Grise is french for "Gray Beast."  It is a nature preserve on the peninsula, with a beach and bay on Lake Superior, where the sand is said to "sing."


Mendota Lighthouse

We ended the day earlier than I had planned due to a breakdown in communication.  That happens all too frequently it seems! 

2 comments:

  1. If history would have been this interesting when I was in school, I might have listened better. Pictures help and are very good. Harbour is beautiful!

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    1. I didn't like history either. Pat said maybe we would have liked it better if they had more field trips!

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