The economy of ironwood has historically revolved around the mining of iron ore. The new railway line created in 1884 sparked this growth, allowing for easy transportation of the town’s iron ore, as well as the mine workers themselves and contributing to an increase of wealth and variety of goods brought into Ironwood. (9)
As a result, Ironwood was excelling in the mining industry by 1891 and became home to six different mines. The mines attracted immigrants searching for work and this new addition to the population brought about increased production and consumption, accounting for further economic growth.
The Great Depression resulted in a rapid decrease in the demand for iron ore, following the widespread decrease in the monetary ability to purchase it.
Ironwood’s economy flourished from the first discovery of iron ore reserves, up until the 1930’s when the first mines started closing. Every decade from this point on experienced a measurable decrease in production, population, and income. (14)
Today, manufacturing and service industries are the most dominant in Ironwood. (3)