Exploring Fort Wilkins Historic Complex and State Park

Copper Harbor, Michigan

At the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula along Lake Superior's rugged shores stands the Fort Wilkins Historic Complex, a well-preserved nineteenth-century military post and lighthouse complex. Built in 1844 to keep peace during Michigan's Copper Boom, the fort was abandoned just two years later, then briefly re-garrisoned in the late 1860's.

In a setting virtually undisturbed by modern intrusions, nineteen buildings survive, twelve of them dating from the 1840's. Through museum exhibits, audio-visual programs and costumed interpretation, visitors can explore the daily routine of military service, experience the hardships of frontier isolation and discover the lifeways of another era. There are evening slide programs, living history programs and an annual Civil War Encampment.

Included in this historic complex are the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, one of the first beacons on Lake Superior, and the Pittsburgh and Boston Company mine sites, where in 1844 a small work force sank the first commercial mine shafts on Keweenaw Point.

Fort Wilkins Historic Complex, located in Fort Wilkins State Park, is administered by the Michigan Department of State in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources. Open 8:00 a.m. to dusk daily, mid-May to mid-October. Admission by State Park Permit. For more information contact: Fort Wilkins State Park, Copper Harbor, Michigan 49918 or phone 906/289-4215. Facilities: Park Store, Book Store, 165 Campsites, full concession stand with food and souvenirs. Allow at least 2 hours for a visit.

Campground has 165 sites, electricity, flush toilets, showers, boat launch and sanitation station. For reservations, call 1-800-44-PARKS.



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