- Iron Nugget
- 404 Silver Street - Hurley
- Wisconsin - United States
- 715 561-9800
The Hurley area, located in Iron County, Wisconsin, has a rich history that is closely tied to the region's mining and logging industries. Here's an overview of the Hurley history in Wisconsin:
Early Settlement: The area that would later become Hurley was first settled in the late 19th century. The discovery of significant iron ore deposits in the region attracted miners and prospectors. The town was initially known as "Gilead" after the biblical land of Gilead.
Boomtown Era: The real growth of Hurley began in the late 1880s when extensive iron ore deposits were discovered nearby. The opening of mines and the subsequent influx of miners and their families turned Hurley into a booming mining town. The town's population quickly grew, and businesses and infrastructure developed rapidly.
Logging Industry: In addition to mining, logging played a significant role in Hurley's history. The surrounding forests provided ample resources for the lumber industry, attracting logging companies and workers. Logging camps sprang up in the area, and timber was transported via rivers and railroads.
Incorporation and Name Change: Hurley was officially incorporated as a village in 1887. Initially, the town was known as "Irondale," but in 1889, it was renamed "Hurley" in honor of M. A. Hurley, a prominent attorney and mining company representative.
Ethnic Diversity: Hurley became a melting pot of various ethnicities as immigrants from different countries arrived to work in the mines and forests. Irish, Finnish, Italian, Slovenian, Polish, and other immigrant communities settled in the area, each contributing to the town's cultural fabric.
Prohibition and Boomtown Decline: The passage of Prohibition laws in the United States in the early 20th century had a significant impact on Hurley's economy. The closure of bars and taverns, which had thrived during the mining era, led to an economic decline. Additionally, the mining industry faced challenges, and by the mid-20th century, most mines in the area had closed.
Tourism and Recreation: In more recent times, Hurley has embraced its natural surroundings and attracted visitors through its outdoor recreational opportunities. The nearby forests and lakes offer opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, and snowmobiling. Tourism has become an essential part of the local economy.
Today, Hurley retains its mining and logging heritage, with remnants of the past visible in its architecture and historical sites. The town celebrates its history through various festivals, such as the "Finnish-American Festival" and the "Iron County Heritage Festival," which highlight the cultural diversity and traditions of the area.
Top Tourist Attractions
While Hurley is a small town, it offers several tourist attractions that showcase the region's natural beauty, history, and recreational opportunities. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Hurley:
- Iron County Historical Museum: Located in Hurley, the Iron County Historical Museum provides a glimpse into the region's mining and logging history. The museum features exhibits on early settlements, mining equipment, logging tools, and displays showcasing the town's cultural heritage.
- Whitecap Mountains Resort: Whitecap Mountains Resort is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Located just outside of Hurley, it offers a range of recreational activities, including skiing, snowboarding, tubing, mountain biking, and scenic chairlift rides. The resort's beautiful mountain vistas and trails attract visitors year-round.
- Copper Peak: Situated in nearby Ironwood, Michigan, but easily accessible from Hurley, Copper Peak is an iconic ski flying hill and tourist attraction. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the 24-story structure, providing stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Waterfalls and Scenic Beauty: Hurley is surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes, including several waterfalls. Nearby attractions like Peterson Falls, Potato River Falls, and Saxon Falls offer breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking, photography, and picnicking.
- Snowmobile Trails: Hurley is known for its extensive network of snowmobile trails, attracting enthusiasts from all over. The trails offer a thrilling winter adventure through the snow-covered forests and scenic countryside.
- Gile Flowage: The Gile Flowage is a large reservoir located near Hurley. It provides opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. Anglers can try their luck in catching various fish species, including walleye, musky, and panfish.
- Historic Downtown: Hurley's downtown area features charming buildings that reflect the town's mining heritage. Visitors can explore local shops, cafes, and restaurants, and soak in the small-town atmosphere.
- Festivals and Events: Hurley hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing the town's culture and traditions. The Finnish-American Festival and Iron County Heritage Festival are notable events that celebrate the region's ethnic heritage.
These attractions offer a mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and historical insights, making Hurley a destination worth exploring for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking recreational activities in a scenic setting.
Hurley, Wisconsin, experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by warm summers and cold winters. Here are some key features of the climate in Hurley:
- Summers (June to August): Summers in Hurley are generally mild to warm. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s°F (around 24°C) to the low 80s°F (around 27°C). However, temperatures can occasionally reach the 90s°F (32-35°C) during heatwaves. Summer nights are cool, with lows in the 50s°F (around 10-15°C). Precipitation is relatively consistent throughout the season, with occasional thunderstorms.
- Autumns (September to November): Autumn in Hurley is marked by cooler temperatures and changing foliage colors. September starts with mild conditions, but temperatures gradually cool down. Highs range from the 60s°F (around 15-20°C) in September to the 40s and 50s°F (around 4-15°C) in November. Nights become colder, with lows dropping into the 30s°F (around 0-5°C). Precipitation levels remain relatively steady.
- Winters (December to February): Winters in Hurley are cold and snowy. Average high temperatures range from the 20s°F (around -6 to -2°C), while lows can drop below 0°F (around -18°C). Heavy snowfall is common, with significant snow accumulation throughout the season. January is typically the coldest month. Be prepared for icy conditions and winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling.
- Springs (March to May): Springs in Hurley start off cold but gradually transition to milder weather. March sees temperatures in the 30s and 40s°F (around -1 to 5°C), with occasional snowfall. As the season progresses, temperatures rise, reaching the 50s and 60s°F (around 10-20°C) by May. Spring is characterized by fluctuating weather patterns and increasing precipitation.
It's worth noting that these climate characteristics are general trends, and actual weather conditions can vary from year to year. It's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before planning any outdoor activities in Hurley.
It is situated in the western part of the state, close to the border with Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Here are some key aspects of the geography of Hurley:
- Location: Hurley is located at approximately 46.455°N latitude and 90.184°W longitude. It is nestled within the Penokee Range, a subset of the larger Gogebic Range, which extends across parts of Wisconsin and Michigan.
- Topography: The topography of Hurley and its surrounding area is characterized by rolling hills, dense forests, and numerous lakes and rivers. The region is known for its picturesque natural landscapes, with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation.
- Gile Flowage: The Gile Flowage, also known as the Gile Flowage Reservoir, is a prominent water body near Hurley. It is formed by the Gile Dam on the West Branch of the Montreal River and provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and wildlife observation.
- National Forests: The Hurley area is near the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which covers over 1.5 million acres in northern Wisconsin. The forest offers diverse ecosystems, including forests, lakes, rivers, and wetlands, attracting outdoor enthusiasts.
- Snowbelt: Hurley is located in a region commonly referred to as the "Snowbelt" due to its heavy snowfall. The town experiences significant snow accumulation during the winter months, making it popular for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.
- Regional Connectivity: Hurley is well-connected to other nearby towns and cities. U.S. Highway 51 runs through the town, providing access to major transportation routes. Hurley is approximately 16 miles (26 kilometers) south of Ironwood, Michigan, and about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of the city of Ashland, Wisconsin.
- Boundary Waters: Hurley is close to the border between Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which is defined by the Montreal River. The Montreal River serves as a natural boundary between the two states, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities.
The geography of Hurley, with its rolling hills, forests, lakes, and rivers, contributes to its appeal as a destination for outdoor activities and appreciation of the region's natural beauty.