The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County Museum hosts haunted history tour


October 16, 2017

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

JOHN BROTTLUND greets tour-goers to the museum's historic spook tour.

HURLEY - Call it ghoulish history.

Twelve at a time, groups heard tales of horror and despair as they made their way through the Iron County Courthouse Museum in Hurley Saturday night.

The second year of flashlight tours through the museum sent a few chills down the spines of the attendees, especially when two young girls popped out of a darkened room and pleaded, "Play with me, play with me," to the youngsters who were taking the tour.

One might have expected Jack Nicholson to jump out and psychotically exclaim, "Here's Johnny," but the girls were spooky enough on their own.

Adults on the tour wondered if the girls would spook their dreams.

In a few true tales connected with the event, Hurley School District third grade teacher Kristen Kolesar took on a purple facial tinge as she spoke about the Spanish flu that threatened the Gogebic Range 100 years ago. It was a time when the toughest obstacle to overcome was sickness.

"Schools, libraries and theaters were shut down," she said. The Charbonneau Funeral Home set up quarters in the location of the present Sky View Nursing Home.

In a small military room, the story was told of the late Italo Bensoni, of Kimball, who survived an intense battle with the Germans in World War II. He went on to hold numerous Iron County offices and led the state veterans administration for a stretch.

It was the second year of the tour, which won a state award last year.

This year, John Brottlund was the greeter at the front door for the first time, appearing as a mummy, wrapped in bandages from head to foot.

Visitors gathered at the senior center and were led in groups of around a dozen after paying $5 apiece, or $10 per family, to get a jump on Halloween.

Tours started every 10 minutes, beginning at 6 p.m., extending well into the dreary, rainy night.


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