You are here

Iron County Historical Society Museum (Iron County Courthouse)

-A A +A
1893, L. H. Ruggles. 303 Iron St.
  • (Photograph by James T. Potter, courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society)

This former county courthouse was supposed to serve the Town of Vaughn with civic offices, a jail, a fire station, and a library. It would have been one of Wisconsin’s most impressive town halls. But before construction was complete, officials of the newly created Iron County decided to use most of the building. The need for a town hall became moot when Hurley incorporated as a city in 1918. Nonetheless, from its beginning, the building, with its courtrooms and county officials, represented law and order in a rough-and-tumble town, where miners and lumberjacks congregated to drink and carouse at the end of a week of hard work. Ruggles designed an attractive two-and-a-half-story Romanesque Revival building, which was constructed by Rinke and Carroll. Red brick walls contrast with Lake Superior brownstone trim. Three pavilions separated by recessed bays compose the main facade. The focal point is a square, five-story clock tower at one corner, which is crowned by an arched belfry with crenel-lated bartizans. At the other corner a smaller domed tower contains the entrance.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Iron County Historical Society Museum (Iron County Courthouse)", [Hurley, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 305-305.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.