The Rathbone School and Museum
is located in the center of Eagle Harbor.
Christmas at the Phoenix Church, taken in 2016. Photo courtesy of Scott Wendt.
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Announcements: All of the Keweenaw County Historical Museums are now closed for the season. We thank all of you for visiting our sites and taking part in our activities this summer. We look forward to seeing you next spring. In the meantime we'll be busy this winter changing exhibits, designing building updates, and planning another summer of activities that support the history of Keweenaw County.
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Located in Eagle Harbor, two blocks west of the harbor's swimming beach, this extensively restored one-room school served the community from 1853 to 1872. It was in this building that Justus H. Rathbone, who began teaching here in 1860, conceived the idea for the ritual of the Knights of Pythias, a secret fraternal society which he founded. This interdenominational organization, which had a peak membership of a quarter-million, continues to conduct its charitable work across North America.
The school has long been an object of pilgrimage by society members. In 1931, a thousand members gathered to pay homage to their society's founder and to witness the unveiling of the nearby granite monument in honor of Justus Rathbone.
The historic property was deeded by the society to Keweenaw County Historical Society in 1982. Its interior is furnished as it was in its time as a school and includes Knights of Pythias exhibits.
Location -The Rathbone School is located at the intersection of 3rd and Center streets in the town of Eagle Harbor, Michigan. GPS: N 47 27.441 W 88 09.761, Decimal Degrees: 47.45735, -88.16268
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Related Links - You may wish to explore the following web sites for additional information on the Rathbone School and the Knights of Pythias.