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The Eagle Harbor General Store Museum and Social Aid and Pleasure Club

Since its founding in 1861, the former Eagle Harbor General Store was more than just a general store. It was a gathering place for the community, a music venue for local bands and musicians, a post office, and the place to get an ice cream cone in summer.
 
With its eclectic collection of memorabilia displayed alongside goods for sale, the store was a de facto museum as well. The odd assortment of artifacts: old toys, obsolete tools and housewares, photographs and mementos -- much of it donated by local residents – became a repository for the collective memory of the town. Visitors are welcomed in to relive their own memories of the store and to participate in the creation of new ones.

Our programs focus on the artifacts, mementos, historical photos and ledgers in the Store’s collection as an inspiration for creative responses in the arts. Keweenaw County history can be told as a story of nature, industrialization, post-industrialization, as well as the vibrant native and immigrant communities that made this rocky landscape part of the unique heritage of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Visitors to the Eagle Harbor General Store encounter this rich history in an environment shaped by memory and reinterpreted through contemporary cultural activities.
 
The Eagle Harbor General Store Museum is also the home of the Eagle Harbor Social Aid and Pleasure Club, and, in the tradition of the Store’s colorful past, current owners and artists Liz Ward and Robert Ziebell present every summer a cultural program of social aid and pleasure.
 
The name “Social Aid and Pleasure Club” has its origins in the carnival culture of Liz’s native New Orleans, and in honor of that celebratory spirit, we host live music on the porch, and contemporary art exhibitions that are integrated into the Store’s displays of historic artifacts, combining past and present in new and innovative ways.


"The distinctive characteristic of the Store is that it is participatory; it uses artifacts and landscape in specific ways that lead to making art associations and contributing to a sense of place. "

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