This recreational area was named in honor of A. Lanfear Norrie, who in 1882 began to explore for iron ore on the Gogebic Range.
His discovery resulted in the opening of the Norrie Mine in Ironwood. Soon other mines, such as the Ashland, Aurora, Pabst and Newport
were booming in these bustling locations. Ironwood is said to have been named after the mining "captain," James Wood, who was nicknamed "Iron" Wood. After a destructive fire in 1887, the community was rebuilt.