Lake Shore Drive Bridge. This bridge, completed in 1915, was one of two bridges erected simultaneously by the Michigan State Highway Department across the Eagle River. The second was located in nearby Phoenix. Prior to 1915 a Pratt through truss bridge crossed the 53-foot gorge here. It deteriorated and was replaced with this structure. The highway department designed the bridge, which was constructed by the Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company of Milwaukee. The Smith-Byers-Sparks Company of Houghton provided the concrete abutments for this steel riveted Warren deck truss bridge, which is 139 feet long. The main span measures 105 feet long and 17 feet wide. In 1990 this bridge was converted to pedestrian use when the adjacent timber bridge opened.
Eagle River. In 1843 the Lake Superior Copper Company purchased several land leases for mining. Two years later the Cliff Mine, alleged to be "the first great copper mine in the Western Hemisphere," was opened by the Pittsburgh & Boston Company. The mines attracted large numbers of Germans, Cornishmen and Irishmen and gave rise to other industries. On August 29, 1846, the Lake Superior News and Miners' Journal boasted that Eagle River had "the appearance of a thriving village." In 1850, Prussian immigrant Frank Knivel opened the Knivel Brewery, and in 1862 the Eagle River Fuse Company was established southeast of here on the river. The company manufactured twenty-five thousand feet of fuse per day for use in the mines. In 1861, Keweenaw County was set off from Houghton County and Eagle River became the county seat.