Project Open Skies revives Keweenaw radar base near Eagle Harbor


TOWNSHIP OF EAGLE HARBOR, Mich. (WLUC) – The Open Skies Project is breathing new life into the long-abandoned Calumet Air Force Station in Keweenaw County.

16 friends and family make up the team. Who worked together to buy the base last year after falling in love with the place and its history.

“It’s a radar base and there’s no airstrip,” said Ian Sorensen, the facility’s co-custodian. “It was basically a watchtower during the Cold War. If the Soviets ever launched rockets or sent in bombers, we would be able to detect them early and then intercept with Marquette jets.

Located atop Mount Horace Greeley in Eagle Harbor Township, the station has fallen into disrepair since 1988.

Residential buildings, a recreation center with a bowling alley in the basement and even a bunker are all key features. The team hopes to renovate these places for future public use.

“Our initial idea is to create a museum at the top of the mountain, basically trying to preserve Cold War history,” Sorensen continued. “We want to try to make possible cabin rentals in the residential area with barracks here. We would like to try to fix some of the hobbies, as well as the cafe. We would also like to do events here like snowmobiling, snowshoeing and mountain biking.

However, these are only short-term plans: the overall goal is to get the entire base operational again.

“We don’t have any major details. It’s a slow burn, it’s a long process,” Sorensen added. “We’re thinking 20 or 30 years later for this thing to be completely over.”

The team hopes that visitors will be as inspired by the place and its history as they have been.

“I really hope other people can feel inspired by what we do here,” Sorensen concluded. “It’s a really cool piece of history. There’s a ton of mining history here and not so much about the Cold War, and so it’s really cool to make that available! »

The team offers free tours of the station by appointment. If you are interested in a visit or more information, click here.

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