Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood Historical Society prints calendar


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Ironwood — The Ironwood Area Historical Society is following up on the success of its first calendar last year with a 2021 version that serves as the organization’s only fundraiser this year.

“It’s something that people look at every day and it reminds them of Ironwood’s history,” said Sandy Sharp, historical society president. “I think that it’s important for our area to remember our history because it’s what made Ironwood what it is today.”

Sharp and the archivists and volunteers of the historical society, Mark Aho, Ivan Hellen, Ed Lakner and Rod Smith put together a calendar of area photos and information that doesn’t repeat the 2020 calendar.

“Nothing has been repeated,” Sharp said. “That just proves that there is a lot of history in Ironwood.”

The calendar title, “2021 History at Home,” has sort of a double-meaning for the rich history of the city but also for the current year of the pandemic. The historical society quickly sold all 300 calendars last year and so it printed 400 calendars this year that are available a month sooner.

“So, we’re well ahead of the game,” Sharp said. “Last year we sold the majority of the calendars after Thanksgiving when people are thinking about new calendars and Christmas gifts.”

The 2021 calendar has a theme for each month in terms of grouping photos and information, she said. For some months it is a seasonal idea and for other months it is grouping a topic of history.

“I got my inspiration from looking through the old photo archives and realizing the variety of things that we had in this area,” Sharp said.

The cover photo features World War I infantry soldiers marching in a 1918 parade after returning from Europe.

January has vintage ski photos from the area resorts and Mt. Zion. February features early car dealerships and trucking services.

March showcases early Ironwood baseball teams, including the 1908 Northwest Champions team. April features area farmers making hay, growing potatoes and running dairies.

May features photos of military units that served in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. There are also photos of ration books and other items.

June photos show the area’s summer parks with many features that no longer exist. July highlights parades over the years.

August is a throwback to the full-service gas stations with the gravity pumps and attendants who cleaned the windshield and checked the oil while filling the tank with gas. September is a back to school month feature of nine Ironwood schools.

October features five marching bands and orchestras that once entertained Ironwood residents including Verona Band and the Tambouritza Orchestra. November features some of the downtown businesses over the years from Northern Bakery to Eva Wurl fashions and the Zarimba Store.

December includes five photos of Ironwood hospitals of the past. This includes the Grand View Hospital and various mining hospitals.

“We had a lot of hospitals and we had a lot of schools,” Sharp said. “In future calendars we will look at themes on other photos such as the churches.”

The 2020 calendar featured the names of U.S. presidents and the years of their terms. The 2021 calendar features 12 past Ironwood mayors and their terms.

The calendars are $20 and available at the Historic Ironwood Depot during weekday business hours at the Ironwood Area Chamber of Commerce desk, and from historical society staff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. All proceeds from the calendar will go toward the depot roof replacement fund.

“We desperately need a new roof,” Sharp said.