Ironwood, Michigan’s Journey Through Time

Discover this little corner of the world in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Ironwood is a captivating town with a rich history. What started as a small mining community has grown into a hub that welcomes people from all walks of life. Let’s dive into the story of Ironwood, uncovering its tales.

Where It All Began

Ironwood’s story began in the 19th century, a time when iron was the sought-after treasure of the Midwest. Immigrants from all backgrounds flocked to this lucrative little town, fueled by aspirations of making it in the mining industry. Back then, Ironwood boasted six bustling mines: Ashland, Aurora, East Norrie, Newport, Norrie, and Pabst. With the industry thriving, Ironwood quickly became a hub of activity.

Taking A Leap​

As Ironwood entered the 20th century, its future was primed with momentum. In the mining cities of the Upper Peninsula the population surged and communities enjoyed the perks of the economic boom. Word of Ironwood’s success spread, attracting entrepreneurs seeking opportunities to open theaters, shops, hotels, and more. The streets bustled with families, and businesses thrived, breathing life into Ironwood and other U.P. towns.

Unleashing the Sporting Legacy​

The harsh but captivating winters of Michigan have always been considered a challenge by Michiganders. One that we’ve readily accepted for generations. Imagine being the first to take on the snowy slopes of Michigan’s wilderness with wooden skis or blaze a new winter trail for snow-shoeing. The average snowfall per season reaches a whopping 188 inches in Ironwood, so of course we’ve engineered all the best ways to take advantage of it. You’ll also find Copper Peak here, which is the world’s largest artificial ski jump.

This incredible destination has been a hot spot for winter sports, attracting spectators and participants alike. Even though it is not fully operating today, Copper Peak continues to offer a wide array of outdoor activities for visitors and residents, not to mention the best views in Michigan.

Kromer Country Ironwood History Blog Michael Smart skiing in the upper peninsula in the winter

Cultural Connections

When Ironwood thrived as a center of the iron industry, many Finnish Immigrants discovered their new home here. In the 1920 census, 90% of the population had at least one parent from outside the United States. The influence of Finnish culture can be observed in the subtle architectural touches and iconic landmarks. One such beloved landmark is the Ironwood Theatre, adorned with stunning Finnish designs. For a deeper dive into the city’s rich history, visit the Ironwood Area Historical Society and the Old Depot Museum, where various fascinating documents, artifacts, and more await you.

Unlimited Options of Ironwood in the 21st Century

While Ironwood is no longer considered a booming mining town, the community has rallied together to create an engaging place to call home. New businesses, galleries, restaurants, and more are sprouting up, adding to the unique  atmosphere. Don’t miss the Emberlight Festival, a summer highlight where you can witness the incredible talent of world-class performers firsthand. Ironwood, Michigan, has endless possibilities waiting to be discovered for every area of interest.

Ironwood owes its foundations to the remarkable endeavors of those who came before us. From mining and skiing to iconic brands like Stormy Kromer, this town is steeped in history. It’s not just a place, but a vibrant community that continues to thrive. Take a stroll through Ironwood’s streets and you’ll witness the authentic charm and rich legacy left behind by earlier generations.


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One Reply to “Ironwood, Michigan’s Journey Through Time”

  1. This presentation is Spot On!

    My Bride and I try to get to Ironwood twice a year!!!


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