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Gaastra is a small community left over from the iron mining days, located in south-central Iron County, about six miles southeast of Iron River. It sits on a high piece of ground, just above a small lake that seems to have been created from mining in the area, the shoreline of which has a dark reddish color typical of the rich quantity of iron found in the ground. It functions primarily as a residential, bedroom community to the larger surrounding towns of Iron River, Crystal Falls and Iron Mountain, with a couple of businesses on the main road.|
This town grew as a mining community on the Menominee Iron Range. The tract of land it sits on was first owned by Alfred Kidder, of Marquette, in 1879, who received a patent to mine in 1881. He sold it to Andrew Young in 1884, who in turn sold it to Edwin H. Piper, and in 1908, Douwe Gaastra, a building contractor and real estate speculator, bought it and officially platted the village, naming it after himself. A local merchant, Olaf A. Olson, became its first postmaster on September 26, 1914, serving until he retired in 1953. It was incorporated as a village in 1919 and later as a city in 1949.
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