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About Us

The mission statement of the Beechwood Historical Society is to preserve and share our Beechwood heritage with present and future generations. This will be done by: a. Restoring and maintaining the Beechwood Hall (formerly known as the Beechwood School), its properties and buildings; b. Maintain the identity of the community of Beechwood, MI (unincorporated) by restoring historical use of the site through education, social functions, and a meeting place for local organizations. This is the remaining public building site in the community; c. Collecting, housing, and preserving artifacts, works of art, and archival materials relating to the history of the Beechwood community; d. Presenting interpretive exhibitions, displays, and programs based upon the research of the Beechwood Historical Society; e. Cooperating with other institutions – government, educational, and historical – in presenting and preserving our heritage. The “Heart of the Community” of Beechwood, Michigan (within Iron River Township) The community of Beechwood, Michigan was established within Iron River Township of Iron County, Michigan in 1882. The Chicago-Northwestern railroad brought early Swedish and Finnish settlers to the area in 1887 and established a depot at Beechwood in 1898 and many of the residents at the time worked on the construction of the rail-line as it continued west toward Ironwood, MI. At one time, Highway US 2 passed through the heart of the community. Highway US 2 was re- routed in the mid-1930’s to “pass by” several of the smaller communities in the area such as Watersmeet, Elmwood, and Beechwood. “Old US 2” from Iron Mountain, MI to Ironwood, MI was 100 miles long and known as the Cloverland Trail. This road and the railroad were the primary means of travel to and through Beechwood, MI for many years. Most segments of the Cloverland Trail can still be found today. Railroading, logging, mining, and farming were the primary means of employment for families in the area. At one time there was a large sawmill, landing, and gravel pit in Beechwood. The community celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 1982. Today, logging and public service agencies (including health-care) remain the biggest employers in western Iron County, MI. The community of Beechwood lies within the Ottawa National Forest. When the mines closed in the area (~1975 – 1985), the railroad tracks were pulled and the grade was converted to an off- highway vehicle trail (ATV’s, snowmobiles). Most community residents are still employed outside of the informal boundaries of the community of Beechwood, MI. The Bethany Lutheran Church (built in 1912) and the Beechwood School (built in 1914 – currently known as the Beechwood Hall) are the only remaining buildings at the center of the community, other than residents’ homes. The Beechwood “community” informally encompasses a discontinuous area of 25 square miles in addition to industrial forest-lands and the Ottawa National Forest. The Bethany Lutheran Church is currently in private ownership and remains basically intact as an original structure. It is not open to the public at this time. The Bethany Church is listed on the National Historic Register. Keep reading more about Beechwood Historical Society, its history, its community center and much more...
Stop by and see us in Iron River, Michigan. Click here to see map and get directions.   Any questions?  Email us at info@beechwoodhistoricalsociety.org Write to us or send donations to: Beechwood Historical Society P.O. Box 219 Iron River, MI 49935
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