Loading

43°F

46°F

42°F

41°F

42°F

41°F

43°F

48°F

42°F
NEWS STORIES

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

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Play Video

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
Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Open HouseSubmitted: 10/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The new Rhinelander Area Food Pantry features new aisles for easier shopping, a sitting area, and large scale for weighing food.

You could see the updates at the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Tuesday. The pantry held an open house to celebrate its new location.

+ Read More
Wisconsin DNR encourages composting Submitted: 10/21/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants homeowners to compost or mulch fallen leaves. This will help keep the leaves out of landfills and lower the chances of burning piles.

DNR leaders say composting means more room and landfill and less chance of stray sparks from burning piles that can start wildfires.

Fewer burning piles will also helps maintain a high level of air quality.
potassium.

+ Read More
Rennes Health and Rehab Center to expandSubmitted: 10/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Rhinelander will add an extra 10,000 square feet to its facility.

The center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.

It offers rehabilitative and skilled nursing services.

Right now the facility has 72 beds.

+ Read More
Help for bat could hurt timber industrySubmitted: 10/21/2014

GREEN BAY - The northern long-eared bat needs help.

Efforts are being made to find ways to help the bat, while not hurting the timber industry.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed protections for the bats, including adding it to the endangered species list.

Bats have been dying by the millions since the deadly white-nose syndrome was found in 2006.

+ Read More
Man dies in tractor rolloverSubmitted: 10/20/2014

TOWN OF WILTON - A 66-year-old Kendall man is dead after a tractor accident in Monroe County.

Sheriff Peter Quirin says the accident happened Sunday evening on a farm in the Town of Wilton.

The driver of the tractor was compacting silage when the tractor rolled over, killing him.

The sheriff's office identifies the victim as Gale Burkhalter.

+ Read More
Veteran survey focusing on improving communication between veterans, state veterans agency Submitted: 10/20/2014

WISCONSIN - A new online survey could lead to better service for Wisconsin veterans. The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs wants to find out how it can better help veterans.

The survey asks for anonymous information and then asks what veteran programs users know information about.

Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Marketing Manager Dan Buttery says the goal is to get veterans and their families more familiar with veteran programs.

+ Read More
Northwoods school hosts anti-bullying programsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

MINOCQUA - Schools across the country struggle with bullying.

Northwoods schools like MHLT hope students learned from a traveling theatre group today.

All of their students attended a short play by the group, CLIMB Theatre.

Bullying has been a problem for the school.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here