Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

A Northwoods Tradition, Made Right HereSubmitted: 03/20/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

A Northwoods Tradition, Made Right Here
IRONWOOD - You probably recognize the name "Stormy Kromer".

You probably also know what the recognizable hats look like from seeing them around the Northwoods.

But do you know where and how they're made?

George "Stormy" Kromer was a semi-pro baseball player and railroad worker in Kaukauna in the early 1900s.

But old Stormy had a problem.

"He worked on the Chicago-Northwestern line for a long time, and he kept losing his hats in the wind, riding the trains. He brought a baseball hat home and asked Ida to sew a band around the hat, and the Stormy Kromer was born," says Gina Thorsen, the Stormy Kromer Vice President.

Before long, they took off, and were being mass produced in Milwaukee.

But that business was about to die in the early 2000s.

To save it, an Upper Peninsula family bought the brand and moved the production to Ironwood.

"We find that people who have hats almost think of it as a special club. When you see someone else wearing a hat, you might walk by and say, 'nice hat'," Thorsen says.

Since the hats started being made in Ironwood, they've gained even more popularity.

That's allowed the company to branch out into womens' Stormy Kromers, as well as other cold weather apparel.

That success has made it a staple of the community's economy.

"Here in Ironwood, it's a small town. Industries have left. Businesses have closed. To us it's really important to be able to provide jobs here with benefits and to treat them well and to provide them a place where they can spend their career," Thorsen says.

About 150 people work for the company in Ironwood.

They make hats that have become a symbol for people in the Northwoods and U.P.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We take you live to Hayward for the Lumberjack world championship and talk with some of the competitors.

We talk with some very young actors that are part of the Campanile kids show in Minocqua.

And we show you the senior citizens version of Wimbledon right here in the Northwoods.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - The tennis courts at Lakeland Union High School usually get filled with students. 

If you stop by the courts during the summer, you'll see a different demographic taking over. 

A group of senior citizens dressed in all white play with wooden tennis rackets to mimic a Wimbledon, tennis game. 

Jerry Sikora never played tennis until the day he decided to get a group together back in 1990. 

"It means a lot to a lot of us that don't do activities that much," said Sikora. 

Since getting the group together for the first time Sikora has gotten a lot of practice. 

He also added about 20 older adults to the team.

 The age range of the players is from the 50s to mid-80s.

"The older you get the smarter you get," said 70-year- old Ted Dasler. 

The group said they only get better with time. 

Sikora said the snowbirds get more practice during warm winters in the south.

"They have no mercy on us when they come back," said Sikora. 

Things can get intense on the court at times, but the friendships and entertainment brings everyone back to play. 

The players said the most important thing is to always have fun. 


+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - A woman went missing last night east of Eagle River, but searchers found her safe early Friday morning.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department got the report of the missing woman just before 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A judge says a Wisconsin county is likely violating the U.S. Constitution with its requirement that game developers obtain permits for augmented-reality apps like Pokemon Go to be played in parks.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said in a ruling Thursday that Milwaukee County can't enforce the ordinance for now. The ruling came at the request of Irvine, California-based game developer Candy Lab Inc., which is suing to overturn the rule.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - This weekend the Hodag BMX track on the west side of Rhinelander hosts the Badger State Games.

More than 100 competitors of all ages and skill levels will compete for the fastest times on the recently updated track.

Competitors race bikes on a quarter mile track with several turns, jumps, embankments and moguls.
Track Operator, Rob Deede says they have competitors from age 5 to their mid-fifties.

"So it's a sport for kids of all ages, we also have it broken down based off of skill level, so from the new beginners, novices all the way through the experts who have achieved many wins in their career." Said Deede.

He says the oldest competitor he's seen was in his mid-eighties.

The track was revamped about a year ago to keep up with the changing style of tracks around the country and the world and to accommodate larger events.

He hopes to bring something positive to the community through the BMX club.

Races will take place this evening and the Championship Qualifying races tomorrow afternoon.

Admission is free. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MARATHON COUNTY - Every year, people travel to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. to pay their respects. But for some, the trip to the wall isn't possible.

That's why Wausau Homes in Rothschild brought the American Veterans Traveling Tribute to Marathon County.

+ Read More

Play Video

MOSINEE - If an army marches on its stomach, Captain Steve Layden and his group of soldiers should be able to do its job while very well-fed... eventually.

"Nope, commanders always eat last," Layden said with a smile Thursday afternoon.

Layden and members of his Army National Guard 173rd Engineer Battalion from Rhinelander were treated to a cookout, helping them fuel up for another week's worth of hard work.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here