Iron River Library Looks to Expand & Preserve Historical Land

IRON RIVER, WI. — The Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library in Iron River is looking to expand and preserve a piece of historical land. The library hopes to make it into a green space for the community to enjoy, while also working with the Western Bayfield County Historical Society to save its deep-rooted history.

Adjacent to the library sits a plot of land and a Victorian carriage home, once lived in by Iron River pioneers.

“The property has been here under the family, Mackmiller and now the Callahan’s since at least 1900,” said Library Director Jacqueline Poolar.

Poolar went on to say, the land is now for sale and the library, along with the historical society, are looking to preserve it.

“They have kept the property looking so beautiful, the house and the whole area around the house, that we would like to continue to keep that feeling of history involved with the community.”

According to Poolar, they’re looking to buy six lots for $50k.

To which she said, would allow the library to reach beyond its walls –to a wider group of people.

“The Callahan property would tie in with that in that we would be able to have a lot more outdoor activities and programs.”

Poolar stated, they hope to make it a green space with walking trails, tables and chairs.

All the while, preserving its past through storytelling and exhibits.

Who better to do that than Dick Rewalt of the Western Bayfield County Historical Society.

“The concrete blocks that you see here that built this building, were all made by him,” said Rewalt, sharing his extensive knowledge on TF Mackmiller.

Rewalt said that when he found out the property was up for sale, he asked the library to assist with the buy as the historical society is privately owned and did not have the funds.

“It’ll be owned by the town, but we’ll be able to use it from the historical societies standpoint.”

But there’s one concern that the two entities want to address.

“Our goal is to have this done all through grants and fundraising so that they community itself will not be affected in any way in their tax payments.”

Some things that Poolar says will need to be done include, removing trees that are dying and repairing the sidewalk.

However, before they get out the hard hats, the town must first approve.

“Because we are a public entity and owned by the city, so to speak, we have to follow a certain procedure in order to acquire the property.”

That started with approval from the town board, which took place last month. Now, the community will vote for the possibility of purchasing it at the Iron River board meeting at 6pm on April 18.

And before the town vote takes place, a historical gathering in honor of the Mackmiller and Callahan families will take place, featuring a presentation by Dick Rewalt.

Along with FOX21’s very own Maria Vollom and other community members who will display Victorian style clothing, found in storage trunks of the families.

The turn-of-the-century gowns have been preserved and are ready to be showcased.

You can learn about the prestigious family and the property ahead of the town vote at the Sunday, April 16 event taking place from 1 to 3pm at the White Winter Winery.

FOX21’s Maria Vollom will represent the dresses.

While the event is free, the registration deadline was Monday, April 10.

Categories: News, News – Latest News, Wisconsin