The Inside Scoop

When you live in Copper Harbor, and somebody suspects that you live in Copper Harbor, the conversation goes something like this:

Visitor: “Do you live around here?”

Resident: “Yes.”

Visitor: “Like, here here?  In Copper Harbor.”

Resident: “Yes.”

(And then, 100% of the time, the next question is this.)

Visitor: “Really?  All year long?” or “Even in the winter?”

And if the resident answers “yes” to that question, the visitor perks up like they have just met a celebrity and proceeds to ask a bunch of questions that only a year-round resident can answer.  I don’t have to tell you what those questions are.  You already know.

If you live here, you know.  If you’ve ever wanted to live here, you know.  If you believe you would never want to live here, you also know!

So what about the answers?

I recently polled the yearly residents and, 1/3 of them responded.

Two Questions

I asked them only two questions.

  1. What is your favorite part about living up here year-round?
  2. What is your least favorite part about living up here year-round?

The Answers

The Favorites

We had many similar answers, so I broke it down into 4 categories for ease of data compilation.

From least to greatest, the favorites are:

  1. The striking beauty, power and contrast of experiencing all 4-seasons = 16%
  2. The solitude, peacefulness and quietness in the winter and “off seasons” = 18%
  3. The diversity and genuine good-heartedness of the people in this community “We are all here because we’re not all there!” = 28%
  4. The beauty, nature and fresh air that comes with living in the middle of Lake Superior = 38%

What do you think?  That’s why people stay here.  I don’t know if any of those answers are too surprising, but the people have spoken their truth.

The Least Favorites

These answers might surprise you a bit more.  They are more diverse.  And they are also truth.

Pay attention.

From least to greatest, the dislikes are:

  1. The Harbor Haus is closed in the winter = 4%
  2. Quote: “Watching the slow erosion of what makes the Keweenaw unique as the remoteness is lost” = 4%
  3. Too much snow to move/harsh winter conditions = 12% (That’s all!!!)
  4. Too far from family and friends = 12%
  5. Nothing to dislike as the sacrifice is worth it = 12%
  6. Too far from fresh produce/entertainment/clothing stores etc. = 24%

This list is not over.  I have not yet revealed the big whopper, and I feel it needs to be prefaced in order not to offend anyone (if that is really possible in today’s society!).

Think about where you live — no matter where it is.

Think about your home, and how it makes you feel to have your own space.  Think about the rules you create in your home, for your family and throughout your life.  Think about how it feels to be respected by others.

Now think about how it feels when you are not respected by others.


Imagine how it would feel if somebody came to your house, left their garbage, talked to you like you were less than a person, disrespected your family, rode their wheeled machines all over your yard and made a bunch of noise.


Now imagine 1,000 people coming to your house!  Not all 1,000 people do those hurtful things, but some of them do, and it drives you nuts.

Do you see what I’m getting at?  It’s a simple lesson in respect.

32% of the residents here claim that their least favorite part is the visitors who do not show respect for the town and the people who live and work here.

In Conclusion

As you well know, Copper Harbor is a beautiful place to visit.  It’s an amazing place to have an adventure.  It’s a great location to get away from it all.  And it’s also where this small, but unique set of people live, love, work and breathe, so others can have a wonderful time when they visit.

You live, love, work and breathe, don’t you?  I sure hope so!

Let’s give everyone a chance to uphold their basic human rights in their own home.  And if you already live by the Golden Rule, thank you!  You are one of the people we look forward to seeing each year.

This blog is composed by resident writer, Amanda Wais.  This post’s photos are used as property of Copper purely for aesthetic value.

Posted in: Lake Superior, Local Life

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