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Copper Harbor, Michigan
Aerial view of the Copper Harbor community
Aerial view of the Copper Harbor community
Location within Keweenaw County
Location within Keweenaw County
Copper Harbor, Michigan is located in Michigan
Copper Harbor, Michigan
Copper Harbor, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Copper Harbor, Michigan is located in the United States
Copper Harbor, Michigan
Copper Harbor, Michigan
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Michigan
County Keweenaw
Township Grant
Established 1844
Area
 • Total 2.43 sq mi (6.3 km2)
 • Land 1.51 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 • Water 0.92 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation
605 ft (184 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 108
 • Density 71.5/sq mi (27.6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
49918
49950 (Mohawk)
Area code(s) 906
FIPS code 26-18100
GNIS feature ID 623809

Copper Harbor is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located in Keweenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located within Grant Township. The population of the CDP was 136 as of the 2020 census.

The community is located at the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper Harbor is also the northernmost permanently populated community and northernmost point of mainland in the state of Michigan. Due to its natural environment and surroundings, Copper Harbor is marketed as an all-season tourist destination and also contains Fort Wilkins Historic State Park.

History

The town's name alludes to the former use of its harbor as a port for shipping copper mined from local deposits during the mid-19th century.

The Pittsburgh and Boston Mining Company, formed by John Hays of Cleveland, Ohio, began operating in Copper Harbor in 1844. It was a small development at first, but its mine was modern for its time, and the company struck it rich in 1845. A few years later, the Central and other mines opened and became successful. By 1870, the copper resources had been largely worked out.

Mining activity no longer exists, and the town's harbor is mostly used for recreational purposes such as snowmobiling and for a ferry that connects Isle Royale National Park to northern Michigan.

Parks and recreation

The Copper Harbor Lighthouse is situated at the opening of the harbor. Nearby is Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, a restored 1844 frontier army base originally built to protect the port in the early years of the copper mining boom.

Transportation

Highways

  • US 41 travels through Copper Harbor and has its northernmost terminus just east of the community.
  • M-26 has its northernmost terminus at U.S. Route 41 within the western portion of the community.

Ferry services

Copper Harbor contains a ferry port that provides transportation to Isle Royale National Park. The Isle Royale Line, Inc. (formerly named Isle Royale Ferry Service) operates the Isle Royale Queen IV out of Copper Harbor during the warmer months from May to September. The ferry takes 3.5 hours to travel 60 miles (97 km) across Lake Superior to Rock Harbor.

Geography

Copper Harbor is at 47°28′08″N 87°53′18″W / 47.4687939°N 87.8884416°W / 47.4687939; -87.8884416; this puts it further north than anywhere in the state of Maine. The ZIP code is 49918 and the FIPS place code is 18100.

Climate

Copper Harbor has a humid continental climate. Summers are warm but rarely hot due to the moderating influence of Lake Superior, whilst winters are cold and snowy, albeit milder than areas on similar parallels to the west, due to the low-scale maritime moderation. Although winter temperatures are similar to those in nearest large metropolitan city Minneapolis a couple of degrees latitude south-west, the main difference being that March is also a winter month in Copper Harbor, since the marine effects delay spring.

Climate data for Copper Harbor, Michigan (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1972–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 46
(7.8)
55
(12.8)
70
(21.1)
83
(28.3)
89
(31.7)
94
(34.4)
99
(37.2)
94
(34.4)
95
(35)
81
(27.2)
67
(19.4)
56
(13.3)
99
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 23.1
(-4.94)
25.9
(-3.39)
34.7
(1.5)
46.0
(7.78)
58.9
(14.94)
67.5
(19.72)
74.0
(23.33)
74.0
(23.33)
66.0
(18.89)
52.3
(11.28)
39.1
(3.94)
27.8
(-2.33)
49.11
(9.505)
Average low °F (°C) 9.8
(-12.33)
10.1
(-12.17)
18.2
(-7.67)
29.8
(-1.22)
39.4
(4.11)
47.0
(8.33)
54.9
(12.72)
56.9
(13.83)
50.5
(10.28)
39.1
(3.94)
28.0
(-2.22)
17.1
(-8.28)
33.4
(0.778)
Record low °F (°C) −18
(-27.8)
−22
(-30)
−23
(-30.6)
−2
(-18.9)
22
(-5.6)
32
(0)
42
(5.6)
44
(6.7)
30
(-1.1)
21
(-6.1)
6
(-14.4)
−8
(-22.2)
-23
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.65
(67.3)
1.44
(36.6)
1.71
(43.4)
2.18
(55.4)
3.11
(79)
2.69
(68.3)
2.18
(55.4)
2.63
(66.8)
2.96
(75.2)
3.28
(83.3)
2.83
(71.9)
2.33
(59.2)
29.99
(761.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 42.9
(109)
22.5
(57.2)
13.1
(33.3)
6.6
(16.8)
0.5
(1.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
9.9
(25.1)
28.9
(73.4)
124.7
(316.7)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 15.9 11.5 8.0 7.8 10.0 8.7 8.7 7.4 10.3 11.9 10.7 12.9 123.8
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 18.1 12.3 6.8 3.1 0.2 0 0 0 0 0.5 5.9 12.5 59.4
Source: NOAA

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