Hurley, Wisconsin History and Heritage
The Hurley Area is home to some pretty impressive, one-of-a-kind features and even some world records to include establishing the Guinness World Record for the Largest/Longest ATV parade in 2005 with 687 all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) in a 2 mile parade. (Keep in mind, some sites might be on Private Property. Please respect property when posted)
When visiting the Hurley Area, you might
See the remnants of the world’s deepest iron ore mine in Montreal, Wisconsin, where early settlers worked nearly a mile underground. The entire town of Montreal was built as a utopian mining community. The Montreal Mining Company provided everything that they felt the miners and their families needed, from shopping, entertainment, services, churches, etc. The entire town of Montreal is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Enjoy the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior, which contains 10% of the world’s fresh water supply and as much water as the other four great lakes combined. Saxon Harbor at Lake Superior is Iron County’s gateway to the Chequamegon Bay which means the ‘gathering of the waters.’ From Saxon Harbor, one can fish, swim, boat or sail in the beautiful waters that make up Gitchee Gumee, which means’ big water.’
Visit Pence, Wisconsin, which has the greatest concentration of log buildings of any town of its size in the state of Wisconsin. Italian and Corsican immigrants settling in this area to work the iron ore mine or logging camps built their homes and outbuildings using logs and other materials they would find. More than 20 unique log buildings, representing different styles of log construction are scattered throughout the community. State historical signage is on display in Pence referring to these historic buildings.
The National Finnish American Festival (NFAF) Cultural Center, known as Little Finland, is located on US Highway 2, just west of US Highway 51 South. The center keeps alive the proud heritage of the many Finnish immigrants who settled in the Hurley Area. Its’ purpose is to foster a cultural center and preserve the Finns rich heritage with song, dance, and ethnic foods.
Museum Hours – 10am -2pm / Tuesdays & Saturdays, April through December / FREE Admission
The only remaining head frame from the old mining days in Wisconsin stands just west of Hurley at the Plummer Mine Interpretive Park. The 80 foot head frame is the last of these steel structures that once dominated the skyline of the Penokee Iron Range, later known as the Gogebic Range. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is in a woodsy setting, accessible by car, hiking, ATV, and mountain biking in the warm months and by snowmobile in the winter.
Plan an adventure at the Iron County Historical Society Museum. Built in 1893 as the town hall for the now-vanished Town of Vaughn, the museum building was sold the following April to serve as the courthouse of Iron County. Mixed styles of architecture were used when erecting this building to include Richardsonian Romanesque. In 1976, the Iron County Historical Society acquired the building and spent a decade performing extension restoration. The museum offers you three full floors of display from history of iron mining to railroads, timber to veterans, home life to faith based articles and is filled with many old photos showing life in the past.