Introduction to Ironwood, Michigan

Ironwood, Michigan, in Gogebic county, is 94 miles E of Duluth, Minnesota (center to center) and 175 miles NE of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ironwood History

The first settlers arrived in Ironwood in 1885 and it was officially incorporated as a village in 1887. In 1889, Ironwood became a city and the northern township area was incorporated as Ironwood Township. Originally, the region was an iron mining town, and extensive exploration of the vast iron ore deposits led to the establishment of numerous mines. It also resulted in rapidly infiltration by immigrants. Fredrick Rhinelander named the place in honor of his mining captain, James (Iron) Wood.

Ironwood and Nearby Attractions

  • Ironwood Historical Depot Museum
  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  • Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
  • Northwoods Children's Museum
  • Amnicon Falls State Park

Things To Do In Ironwood

Exhibits on regional history can be viewed at the Vilas County Historical Museum, the Madeline Island Historical Museum, and the Ashland Historical Society Museum. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which has 12 miles of lakeshore and 21 islands, is suitable for sailing, boating, camping, swimming, scuba diving, hiking, and picnicking. Bald eagles and black bears can also be seen in this area. Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, which covers 225,000 acres, is another popular place to visit. Parks in the area include the Big Bay State Park, Lake Gogebic State Park, Porcupine Mountains State Park, and Copper Falls State Park. The community also celebrates the Gogebic County Fair, Festival Ironwood, and Jack Frost Festival of Lights Parade every year.

Ironwood Transportation

Air transportation is available from the Duluth International Airport.

Ironwood Higher Education

The city of Ironwood is home to the Gogebic Community College. The University of Minnesota, Michigan Technological University, and North Central Technical College are also located close by.


Total Population 5,153
Male Share of the Population 48.9%
Female Share of the Population 51.1%
Senior Citizens 21.3%
Employed Population 16+ 2,056
Age of the Population 47


% of people married 42.7%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 16.1%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $41,420
% Above Poverty Level 69.1%
% Below Poverty Level 30.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 1.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 7.2%
% Using Public Transportation 0.9%


People Living Alone 41.1%
Median Gross Rent $535
Median House Value $53,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 5.8%
US/American 0%
English 10%
Irish 9.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ironwood Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 94 miles E of Duluth, Minnesota (center to center)
Nearest Large City 175 miles NE of St. Paul, Minnesota
County Gogebic
Standard Zip Codes 49938
Phone Area Codes 906
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 46.454
Longitude -90.17

Ironwood Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1 miles
Jan Temp -0 to 19 F
Apr Temp 28 to 50 F
Jul Temp 55 to 77 F
Oct Temp 34 to 53 F
Annual Precip 34.6 inches
Station MELLEN 4 NE
Distance 23.7 miles
Jan Temp -3 to 19 F
Apr Temp 28 to 51 F
Jul Temp 55 to 77 F
Oct Temp 34 to 54 F
Annual Precip 33.3 inches
Distance 38.5 miles
Jan Temp 0 to 20 F
Apr Temp 31 to 52 F
Jul Temp 57 to 77 F
Oct Temp 36 to 54 F
Annual Precip 32 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Bessemer 1,935 $53,750

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ironwood Public Libraries

Ironwood Carnegie Library
Ironwood, Michigan
(906) 932-0203

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Ironwood High Schools

Serves 714 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.4

Ironwood Colleges

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Additional Details
Ironwood Colleges
Ironwood colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in Ironwood
Historic Ironwood


Iron Mines between 1880 and 1899

Select a photo to view (Source):

Iron Mines between 1880 and 1899

Norrie group no. 3 between 1880 and 1899

Aurora iron mines between 1880 and 1899

Additional Resources
Info for Ironwood Government Officials

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