The approximate 126 square miles of Bessemer Township completely surrounds the city of Bessemer. Directly East of Bessemer are the communities of Anvil and Ramsay. Anvil is situated on a hill overlooking Ramsay, which lies in the valley of the Black River. West of the city of Bessemer are the communities of Ironton, Puritan, Davis and Geneva. All are named after the mines around which these communities originally grew during the mining years. South and North of Bessemer are what used to be farming communities of Harding and North Bessemer. Although some of this land is still used for farming it is small compared to past years. These lands encircle the other locations that make up Bessemer Township and form a protective wall giving the township a sense of security for its inhabitants.
On all sides of the township hills and bluffs can be viewed. Beautiful in any season, they are a site to behold. Also, major to this area are the ski hills that serve many area residents and tourists that grace their slopes from many miles away. Powderhorn, Black Jack, and Indianhead are the ski hills of the area. The Western UP’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau is a great resource when visiting the area.
Another main institution of the township is the location of Aspirus Ironwood Hospital Originally built in 1924 to serve Tubercular patients, this facility has grown to become one of the areas major providers of health care.
Some of nature’s awesome lakes that are located within the township are Chaney Lake, Lynx Lake, Marell Lake just to name a few. Many of which are located on Gogebic County Forest land or the Keweenaw Land Association. If it’s skiing or snowboarding you’re into, please visit some of our local hills: Indianhead Mountain Resort, Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort, Black Jack Mountain, and Mount Zion located on the campus of Gogebic Community College.
The seat of the township’s municipal government is located in the township hall in Ramsay, which is where the supervisor, treasurer, and clerk have offices. Along with official offices, the township hall is also home to the Volunteer Fire Department, the Department of Public Works, and the offices of the Gogebic Range Water Authority and Powderhorn Area Utility District. The Gogebic County Court House is located only two miles from the township in Bessemer.
After being on hiatus for several years the 4th of July Celebration will once again take place! From a parade that runs down Mill Street and fireworks in the park, to street dancing, food, fun and frolic, many people from the surrounding communities come to enjoy all that is offered. One local tavern located in downtown Ramsay is also a part of the celebration and shares in the history of the township. There are several churches throughout Township, as well as the local post office located on Mill Street. The township itself is home to many other businesses and services.
Directly behind the Township Hall is the Ramsay Memorial Park. Talking with some of the “old timers” of the area will provide you with wondrous stories of childhood that include swimming in the park when the dam was in place. After the floods of 2000, many of the old buildings that were once used in conjunction with the swimming hole were removed. In its place was built a new pavilion fully equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities that can be used for any type of outdoor event. Rental forms are available through this website. The park has also been updated with playground equipment and is one of the best places to view the historic Keystone Bridge.
All in all, Bessemer Township is the kind of place that provides beauty, serenity, community, and is a great place for raising a family and making life-long friends. Welcome to our area!
HISTORY OF THE KEYSTONE BRIDGE
The Keystone Bridge was constructed in 1891 by Chicago and Northwest Railroad at a cost of $48,322. Similar to old Roman architecture, the bridge was built without mortar on a solid rock foundation. The bridge consists of a series of arches, with each arch having a center keystone at the top to lock in the entire structure. The 5 foot thick blocks used to construct the bridge are limestone, which was brought from Kaukauna, Wisconsin. The bridge is 45 feet long, 44 feet wide, 57 feet high, with 50 foot walls. This bridge carried mining and logging materials across the Black River. Although millions of tons of freight shipped by rail passed over the arch bridge, the bridge is structurally sound. The bridge is located behind the Bessemer Township Hall across from Ramsay Park.The bridge is also a stop along the Upper Michigan Heritage Trail Network.