Eagle Harbor Schoolhouse, photo taken 1971
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Eagle Harbor Schoolhouse
Third and Center streets, Eagle Harbor - Keweenaw County
Other Names Pythian Shrine
Property Type one-room schoolhouse
Historic Use EDUCATION
Current Use RECREATION AND CULTURE
Style Other
Significant Person Justus H. Rathbone
Narrative Description The Eagle Harbor Schoolhouse is located in the former mining port of Eagle Harbor, within view of Lake Superior. It is a small square building measuring twenty-four feet on each side. A gabled belfry frame tops one end of the shingled, gable roof which has a plain cornice and returns. Clapboard siding covers the walls and simple sash windows are now covered with shutters.
Statement of Significance The Eagle Harbor Schoolhouse, the first schoolhouse in the area, is significant for its age as well as for the historic events that took place on the site. Constructed in 1853 by local builders, the schoolhouse was the birthplace of a fraternal, secret society. While teaching at the schoolhouse in approximately 1861, Justus H. Rathbone wrote the ritual for the Order of the Knights of Pythias. A fraternal, secret society oficially founded in Washington D. C. on 1864, the Pythians dedicated themselves to the principles of "friendship, charity, and benevolence." The group purchased the schoolhouse in the 1920s and added a gable roof to the belfry. Some members of the order dedicated a bronze memorial to Rathbone and currently preserve the building as a Pythian shrine.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1853, 1861
Registry Type(s) 09/22/1972 National Register listed
12/10/1971 State Register listed
Site ID# P23779