Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State

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Tour 14
(Ironwood, Mich.) -- Ashland -- Superior -- (Duluth, Minn.); US 2.

Michigan Line to Minnesota Line, 106.3 m.

Chicago and North Western Ry. parallels route between Hurley and Ashland; Northern Pacific Ry. between Ashland and Superior. Concrete and oiled-gravel roadbed. Accommodations good in Hurley, Ashland, and Superior; tourist camps and cabins scattered along the route.

US 2, shortest highway between the Michigan and Minnesota boundaries, cuts across the top of Wisconsin through cutover and swamps, a region of red clay and ferrous soil. It joins Ashland and Superior, shipping and factory cities, and links the small farm villages scattered through the cutover.

US 2 crosses the MICHIGAN LINE, 0 m., from Ironwood, Michigan. At 0.1 m. is the junction with US 51 (see Tour 7), 1.5 miles north of HURLEY (1,497 alt., 3,264 pop.) (see Tour 7).

West of the junction US 2 passes through a gap in the Penokee- Gogebic Iron Range, enters a dense forest of second-growth popple and birch, with occasional farms in the clearings, then crosses the Montreal River, 4.4 m. Somewhere in this wooded region, according to Indian legend, there was a mysterious lodestone so highly magnetized that it drew to itself all metal objects. A malignant spirit fallen from the sky or cast down by the Thunderbirds was believed to inhabit the stone. It was said that once a Dakota war party armed with metal weapons passed by and all but one man disappeared. Lumber cruisers used to complain that their compasses would not work in this region; lumberjacks occasionally claimed that axes, saws, and peavies mysteriously disappeared from the woods.

SAXON, 11.2 m. (1,117 alt., 300 pop.), is a former lumber town trying to subsist on trade with farmers who themselves are living at virtually a subsistence level. In 1936 the average gross income per farm in Iron County was $547, the second lowest in Wisconsin. A few cattle graze in unfenced fields; farm buildings are rude, constructed of logs, planks, or tar paper.

From LAKE VIEW CEMETERY (R), 11.6 m., is a view of shallow Oconto Bay to the north, and, far out on Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands (see Tour 14A). To the south the saw-tooth peaks of the Penokee Range rim the Lake Superior basin eastward to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan, a blue haze in the distance. At the stair-type BIRCH HILL FIRE TOWER, 18.1 m., is the unmarked boundary of the BAD RIVER RESERVATION (La Pointe Indian Reservation), established

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