As the prospects for copper riches near Copper Harbor diminished in the first few years of the Copper Rush, investors turned their attention southward, following the rugged peaks of the Keweenaw’s interior. It was along the high peak just south of Eagle Harbor that copper outcroppings were discovered along what would be known as the Owl Creek Fissure. Quickly docks and warehouses were built along a nearby natural harbor, to ferry in the necessary equipment and supplies needed to exploit the lode. It was 1844 and the port town of Eagle Harbor was born.
Soon the discovery of the Owl Creek Fissure was followed by the discovery of more copper veins, and the arrival of more mine companies to plunder it. The town grew quickly, and the massive increase in ships coming to and from the harbor prompted the the government to construct a lighthouse at the harbor entrance in 1850. By that time the harbor had become the center of shipping and commerce along the Keweenaw. In turn the town became headquarters for several mine companies, who built warehouses, and administrative offices along the harbor.
As the mine rush moved southward by 1870, Eagle Harbor’s position as a center of shipping in the Keweenaw was supplanted by the twin cities of Houghton and Hancock down along Portage Lake. The warehouses and mine offices were abandoned, and the community dwindled to near nothing. With the advent of the automobile, however, the town underwent a resurgence as a tourist destination – specifically for its large swimming beach long used to store timber for shipping out east. Today the town consists primarily of summer houses and camps.