Loading

19°F

19°F

22°F

18°F

19°F

20°F

22°F

21°F

19°F

19°F

21°F

22°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: 01/26/2015

- The Price County Sheriff's Office will try to get its own drug sniffing dog. The office typically uses dogs from surrounding police departments and sheriff's offices. Find out how that could help the department and how much the project could cost tonight on Newswatch 12 at 5 p.m.

- Plus, most people possess unique talents. But one man's unusual talent is turning simple soap and water into mesmerizing bubble creations. Tonight a group of kids and parents will get to see his talent.

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

+ Read More

WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department will use a "Hero Dog" to help bolster its K9 unit.

The dog's name is Rex, and he isn't Wausau Police Officer Mark Jaeger's first K9 partner.

"My last dog, Pluto, is 12-and-a-half and he just retired," Jaeger said. "When [Pluto] saw me in the uniform getting in the squad and he didn't get to come along, he was not happy."

Rex just recently joined the Wausau Police Department, but his service to his community and his country, goes further back.

+ Read More

OWEN - A plane crash in central Wisconsin has killed one person and injured two others.

Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick says the victim was a passenger in a Cessna 182 that was trying to make an emergency landing on a road in the town of Hoard at about 9:15 a.m. Monday.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.

Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.

+ Read More

LAONA - A Northwoods school found a way to teach students skills they'll need after school, and help the community.

Some Laona High School students helped build a warming shelter at the towns recycling center.

One of Laona's town supervisors brought up the possibility of the building to a school board member.

The school board member felt it was a good way for a small school and town to work together.

+ Read More

CABLE - Supporters of North America's largest cross country ski race want to raise $2.3 million to renovate the trails where it's held in northern Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1EnzFlb ) reports the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has raised more than half of the $650,000 needed for the first of three phrases.

+ Read More

MADISON - The punk rock band Dropkick Murphys is asking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to stop playing one of their songs, saying in a message on Twitter that ``We literally hate you.''

The band sent the message Saturday night after Walker took the stage at the Iowa Freedom Summit to their song ``I'm Shipping Up to Boston.''

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here