About Keego Harbor

Keego Harbor Joseph E Sawyer

Here in Keego Harbor, you’ll find small-town charm and a friendly community. We have flourishing businesses, safe neighborhoods, reputable schools, great services and lots of city pride. The city's motto, “Heart of the Lakes” is attributed to its proximity to several area lakes.  Cass, Dollar and Sylvan Lake are within or partially within the City’s boundaries.

The first non-native residents came to the area around 1825 – 1830. These brave settlers were farmers, tradesmen, fishermen, domestic workers, and merchants. Prominent people bought large parcels of land along Cass Lake to use for vacation homes.

In the 1890’s, the Detroit Urban Railway built a trolley line that ran from the City of Detroit to the City of Pontiac, by way of Keego Harbor. With its own trolley stop, many opportunities opened for Keego Harbor. The trolley operated for many years, with Keego Harbor benefiting from its newfound accessibility, local commercial businesses and the residential community began to proliferate.

Joseph E. Sawyer, a Pontiac lawyer and real estate investor, bought and platted property from Dollar Lake to Cass Lake. He bought and platted property on both sides of Orchard Lake and, by 1912, had dredged a canal from Dollar Lake to Cass Lake and declared that Dollar Lake was the harbor. Sawyer used the word "keego,” (meaning “fish” in Ojibwa) from the Longfellow Poem, The Song of Hiawatha, and named the area, Keego Harbor. Before the community now known as Keego Harbor became a city, it was part of West Bloomfield Township. On March 25, 1955, a Charter was approved by Governor G. Mennen Williams, which established Keego Harbor as a city governed by a five-member City Council and removed it from the jurisdiction of West Bloomfield Township. We know you’ll quickly discover why so many folks choose to call Keego Harbor home.