History of Iron River
Located in the heart of northwestern Wisconsin’s Vacationland, Iron River is a small, friendly community in a peaceful, picturesque setting. At the turn of the century, Iron River, like so many other fast-growing towns, was a logging “Boom Town”. Railroad trains made several trips a day between Superior and Hurley, hauling logs to markets and providing transportation to workers. The trains are gone and replacing the tracks is the Tri-County Recreational Corridor. The logging industry has changed significantly from those early days, but remains an important part of the economic structure of the area.
The Ojibwa Chippewa were the first to discover the area and considered the unusual reddish water as having great medicinal value. It was during the early days that Iron River became known as the “Blueberry Capital of the World” and the annual Lion’s Blueberry Festival (the last full weekend of July) is a celebration of this bountiful, delicious fruit. Diverse terrain, mixed hardwoods, mineral-rich soil, and the many lakes and rivers provide a home for an incredible array of wildlife…trophy whitetail, the state’s largest population of black bear, fox (red, gray & cross), wolves, cougar, fisher, martin, eagle, hawks of all kinds, falcons, ducks, geese, swans, bluebirds, cardinals, orioles, grosbeaks, finches…the list could go on. A visitor once noted that there is an unusual and unique balance here and that “man and nature seem to live in harmony.” The area’s rich natural resources and carefully developed trails for snowmobiling, ATVing, and biking truly do make this an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
Iron River is a growing community complete with banks, realtors, a variety of unique shops, grocery, hardware, etc. Two industrial parks, housing for the elderly, police, fire, and EMT departments, along with a Community Center and the new Enterprise Center, are evidence of the town’s emphasis on growth and economic stability, while providing necessary services for all of it’s citizens.
Iron River is home to the “White Winter Winery”. We are proud to be home of one of the few wineries in Wisconsin. This treasure is a must see for area travelers. Stop in and taste the wonderful mead and spritzers made by the Hamilton’s.
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Thanks to Venture North for permission to use this video