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

MONICO - Around 4 PM Sunday Monico Fire Department, Oneida County Sheriff's Department and DNR Fire all responded to a backyard fire on Neptune Lake Road in Monico.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Organizers broke ground on the Northwoods Veterans Post in Merrill Saturday.

It will serve veterans, boy, girl and cub scouts as well as the community.

Northwoods Veterans Post marketing Chairperson Tracy Jopek lost her son in 2006 when his truck hit a bomb while he was serving oversees in Iraq.

"I'd like to think if he was the one that came home, that he would have a place to go. It's important to not just talk the talk about supporting the military but to actually do it," said Jopek.

Saturday, Jopek and other organizers broke ground on the Northwoods Veterans Post in Merrill.

"The Northwoods Veterans Post offers a place that we can bring in resources," said Jopek.

Those resources were never offered at the more than 100-year-old Merrill VFW building.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Dozens of girls laced up their running shoes to hit the start line for the "Girls on the Run" community spring 5k Saturday in Minocqua.

Girls on the Run is an organization that helps young girls grow to be confident and healthy.

The 5K fun run is just one way to promote a healthy body image.

Girls on the Run Park Falls coach Katie Rybak said the run isn't about time or winners but to make sure everyone knows that they are capable of finishing.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Temperatures in the 70s and 80s mean it's time to get out on the water.

Maybe not for swimming just yet, but for boating. 

A new Your Boat Club location just opened this season in Minocqua. 

Your Boat Club lets you rent a boat for the day, or become a member and use a boat any time during the year.


+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - You probably wouldn't go into a bank where you weren't a member, but Associated Bank in Minocqua hopes anyone and everyone -- members or not -- stops by this month.

The bank wants to raise $1,500 for the Children's Miracle Network.  CMN helps cover medical costs for children in hospitals around the country.

+ Read More
The art of sucker grabbingSubmitted: 05/18/2018

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - Fishing usually means grabbing a fishing pole and bait and heading to the lake. But some people decide to go a different route and just use their bare hands.

Sucker grabbing is pretty simple.

"There isn't much to it besides just grabbing a sucker," said Tyler Olson.

But there is more to it than just grabbing, at least for some.

"If you can just creep up behind them, you can just grab it pretty easy, but I've seen Tyler trying to grab it with the two hands but that isn't really working out for you is it Tyler?" said Brandon Alsteen.

The Rhinelander guys go out at night because the suckers are easier to see with flash lights. That light sometimes scares the fish, which is just one factor that adds to the challenge.

"They are very strong animals actually for being little fish, to be honest with you. They squirm out of your hands a little too fast for you grab, you have to be stealthy and fast with them," said Olson.

The catch is why the guys go out.

"I kind of get the thrill out of the whole deal here. It's just nice going out with a couple friends," said Olson.

Those couple friends take the challenge and turn it up a notch between the group.

"It's kind of a competition thing between friends at school. There's a good amount of kids that actually do it. You see who can catch the most suckers I guess and whoever ends up with the most is kind of the big winner," said Olson.

+ Read More

SANTA FE, TX - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says 10 people are dead and 10 more wounded after a shooting at a high school in the town of Santa Fe.

Abbott called Friday's shooting "one of the most heinous attacks that we've ever seen in the history of Texas schools."

He says explosive devices including a Molotov cocktail had been found in the suspected shooter's home and a vehicle as well as around the school and nearby.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here