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A Little History

Methodist Episcopal Church 1892
Wesley UMC Annex 1885
Corner Stone
Wesley Sanctuary

Methodism took root in the mining town of Ironwood in 1886 with the founding of the Finnish Methodist Church.  The town grew rapidly with thousands of immigrants coming from Finland, England (principally from the Cornwall region), Italy, as well as some from Poland.  Drawn by the huge logging and iron-mining boom, Ironwood grew rapidly from a cluster of wooden houses surrounded by mine head-frames to a bustling community of 20,000 at the time of World War I.  Four Methodist churches were built to serve these immigrant communities.   The original First Methodist Church largely ministered to immigrants from England.

In 1909, a fire destroyed First United Methodist’s frame building and a new granite building was erected on the same McLeod Street site in 1910 [picture of the cornerstone].  This building was dedicated in two identical services by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Plantz, President of Lawrence College of Appleton, WI.  In 1950, as part of the merger of First Methodist and Grace Methodist, the building was re-named Wesley Methodist Church and the Chancel interior was completely remodeled with all-new oak furnishings and a new pipe organ by the M.P. Moller company (#8259) was installed.  The original 1910 pews are still in use every Sunday.

While no longer as large a parish as during Ironwood’s “boom days”, Wesley continues its mission of welcoming people into the Christian faith with open hearts, open minds, and open doors.

We invite you to come, open our door, and join us, that we might all grow together in our faith journey.

Our Building

For over 108 years, the Wesley United Methodist Church building has served both the parish and Ironwood communities. In 2017, one of the original ceiling/roof trusses broke, and detailed engineering inspections revealed that others were bending. Shoring scaffolding was put in place to prevent a roof failure and plans were developed to construct a new truss in place in the church attic. This was completed during the summer of 2018, and the Wesley congregation was able to once again worship together in their historic space. The total cost for this repair came to over $250,000, and there remains a substantial loan amount of $155,000 yet to be paid off. If you would like to contribute directly to the roof/ceiling repair fund, you can do by mailing a check to Wesley United Methodist Church or utilize the GoFundMe site below:

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