Explore the Attractions in the Ironwood Area
There are a number of attractions in and around Ironwood, including a larger-than-life Indian statue and a Finnish museum for visitors to explore. Here’s a quick glance at a few of them:
Ironwood’s famous Hiawatha statue is located a few blocks south of downtown Ironwood on Suffolk Street, at the Old Norrie Iron Mine site. Built in 1964 and completely restored in 2019, this 52-foot-tall fiberglass statue is a rare surviving example of American road art from the 1950s–60s period when post–World War II highway expansion made easy travel possible for millions of Americans.
Stormy Kromer Cap and Factory Tour
Another example (smaller) of road art is the big red Stormy Kromer Cap that resides at the entrance to the Stormy Kromer factory. Located just off U.S. Hwy 2 at 1238 Wall Street, this cap is a great photographic favorite. Free factory tours are given daily at 12:30 p.m., offering a fascinating look at how the caps are made from initial fabric cutting through final hand sewing.
Located just off of U.S. Hwy 2 (5750 U.S. 2) in Hurley, the Little Finland log building and museum can be found. The site preserves the Finnish heritage of the hardy settlers who came to work in the mines of the Penokee and Gogebic Iron ranges. The museum has an important collection of Finnish artifacts, most of which came with their owners from Finland. The gift shop offers a large selection of glassware, linens, books, and clothing. Visitors can also tour the Harma House Museum, a traditional Finnish homestead located on the same grounds.
Built in 1892, Ironwood’s Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot was designed in the Richardson Romanesque style. It was the hub of an elaborate railroad yard operation in the center of Ironwood. In 1986, the Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Refurbished by volunteers, the Depot is now home to the Ironwood Area Historical Society and the Ironwood Area Chamber of Commerce. The Depot features displays on early railroading, Ironwood iron mining, and early 20th-century boom town culture. The Society staffs the Depot daily during the summer, offering explanatory tours of the exhibits as well as local historical lore.
Outside the Depot, following the old railroad grade is Mile 0 of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. From its beginning here in Ironwood, the finished paved trail runs east through Bessemer to Ramsay, a distance of about 10 miles. The trail has permanent benches at intervals, as well as a bike repair station.
Constructed in 1922, Ironwood’s Memorial building houses city offices as well as a wealth of historical exhibits. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., this beautiful building is renowned for its hand-painted historical murals and stained glass. The second-floor history room features a gallery-type exhibit that displays drawings, pictures, and texts highlighting the region’s history from the late 1600s to the 1950s.
Historic Ironwood Theatre
Restored to glory, Ironwood’s 1928 Theatre anchors the downtown with both local and national touring performances. Stop in at the Box Office after 12 p.m. and take a brief tour. Outstanding ceiling murals, original 7-rank Barton Theatre pipe organ, and artist gallery concourse all await the visitor and performance patron.
Miners Memorial Heritage Park
Walking and biking trails take the visitor through the landscape that 100 years ago was the site of Ironwood’s intensive mining industry. Explanatory signage, wildflower and butterfly guides, contemplative benches, and (in late summer) “Art In The Miners Park” all welcome the visitor.
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