the history of the ironbull

Ancient Greek Minoan wall art depicts humans jumping over the top of a bull’s back.

The IRONBULL™ has existed as long as humans have been on Earth. Its spirit resides within each of us: where the driving urge to test one’s physical adversity, push our bodies to the limit, and challenge our inner selves mentally and physically all align. Ancient philosophers have referred to this release of inner energy as “the bull that lies within each of us…that driving force of life!” The presence of the IRONBULL™ is what makes us as people a funny species because we see ourselves pushing our physical capabilities to the extreme, at times to sheer exhaustion. This is where the history of the IRONBULL™ all began, and we are raging to bring it to life in Central Wisconsin!

French voyagers and Native Americans sit and stand amongst canoes along the Wisconsin River shoreline.

The French Voyageurs of the 18th century were the first travelers that came across The Great Lakes and The Wisconsin River. The name Wisconsin came from a native American name "Meskonsing," meaning “a river running through a red place.” On this river, the voyagers came to a spot where they could go no further; where the icy, churning, boiling water had the roar, similar to that of a bull, that could be heard off in the distance. With this being the largest cataract on the river, they stopped their great canoes and set ashore. They named this piece of treacherous water Big Bull Falls, and it remained for the next 150 years to come. Around 1850, the lumbermen living in the area changed the name from Big Bull Falls to a native American name “Wausau,” meaning “a faraway place.”

Looming to the south of the falls is a mighty mountain, four miles long and 1.7 billion years old. Named The Rib, this mountain has stood watch over the Central Wisconsin valley from time immortal. Some say this is the oldest mountain in the world. Wausau is renowned for the high quality of its red granite and was the gateway to the “pinery” and iron mining to the North.

The IRONBULL™ logo icon uses a distressed style to depict a black bull’s head inside of an orange circle.

Hence, this is where the IRONBULL™ name comes from. IRON has been universally perceived as the symbol of human strength, obstinacy, fortitude, honor, courage, sharpness (of body and mind), tenacity, and confidence in power. Additionally, BULL from the historic and mighty Bull Falls. You might ask yourself, “what’s the importance of a name?” We say it holds everything! Together, the IRONBULL™ name symbolizes the essence about who we are— that being the strength, endurance, and competitiveness we share as a species. It’s the willingness to go all out, to never stop trying, to give it everything you’ve got, right down to the core! That’s what the IRONBULL™ is all about! In all, The City of Wausau has brought the concept of what the IRONBULL™ encompasses back to life for the benefit of our community and surrounding areas.