Our lake has a fascinating and colorful history.

Sally Engebretson, curious about the history of the area, did some research. It turns out that Hagerman Lake is named after J. J. Hagerman, a very colorful miner and industrialist from the 1800’s. This is confirmed by Jack Hill on page 39 of his history of Iron County, in which he says that
“on the earliest maps Hagerman Lake bears the name of Lac Brule. The origin of the name Hagerman is of more recent date and in all probability came from J. J. Hagerman, a mineral and timber investor who secured large land holdings surrounding the lake during the early development of the County.”

Sally found two very interesting accounts of J. J. Hagerman. The first is his autobiography, written in 1908, with 67 typewritten pages in a
large file of over 13 megs. (Don’t try it on dial-up!)

The second reference is shorter, a biography written by JJ’s son, Percy.

A history of the development of the lake and its surroundings was written for the Iron River Reporter, February 17, 1966, by Jack Hill.
Read it here.

Finally, a comprehensive account and biography appears on Wikipedia

Our thanks to the Engebretsons for their interest and perseverance in gathering this information.