Loading

16°F

11°F

14°F

16°F

14°F

17°F

12°F

16°F

16°F

12°F

17°F
NEWS STORIES

A Northwoods Tradition, Made Right HereSubmitted: 03/20/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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: 02/27/2015

- Keeping young, bright people in the Northwoods is a challenge, like it is for much of the rest of the state. Find out how WEDC hopes to help with that problem.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Students in Wausau will be able to go to school online next school year.

The Wausau School District is working on a virtual school program. The program named Wausau Area Virtual Education is for sixth through 12th graders.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Electricity costs a lot of money, especially when you're not used to paying for it.

The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry moved into a new location in October. In the old building, the pantry didn't have to pay for utilities. Now they do.

+ Read More

OXON HILL, MD. - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his experience taking on protesters in his state helped prepare him to take on terrorists across the world.


+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Seven people have been charged with running a large drug distribution operation out of a house on the south side of Milwaukee.

Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern announced Thursday that investigators have seized sizable amounts of cocaine and heroin, weapons and more than $100,000 during searches in Milwaukee and Green Bay in relation to the case.

+ Read More

LANGLADE COUNTY - With these frigid temperatures, it seems like summer is far away. But one local group is already planning for the summer months.


+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Sometimes it feels like you've had a rough day. But as the old saying goes, "someone out there is having a tougher day than you." We caught up with a Tomahawk woman who lost her house in a fire and is battling cancer. Some Tomahawk kids told us how she's able to keep a smile on her face and bring cheer to others.

"She's a very strong woman. She's very cheerful. Despite all of her hardships she still can smile. She still has a loving heart," said 18-year-old Umran Abdul Majeed.

Judy Schroeder always has a warm smile on her face. Even after she lost everything last Wednesday night in a house fire.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here