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

Play Video

PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures.
Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture.
They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from.
"They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.

+ Read More

Play Video

CONOVER - Hundreds of people gathered in Conover to celebrate all things winter. On Saturday the fifth annual Northwoods Blizzard Blast was held. 

There were horse drawn sleigh rides, sledding, giant ski races, and plenty of other winter activities.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.

The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.

"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.

"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Police think a Rhinelander woman met with a hitman on Valentine's Day to have her husband killed. 

Megan Danielczak, 27, ended up giving a down payment to an undercover agent with the Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. 

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Only about one-third of students showed up to classes at Lakeland Union High School Friday morning, with many staying home after police verified a shooting threat.

More police officers were on hand at the school Friday morning.

On Thursday evening, Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger confirmed the discovery of shooting threats in the ladies' bathroom near the LUHS auditorium. The threat noted an attack would be similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A 27-year-old Rhinelander woman put a down payment on a "hit" to kill her husband, according to police.

Megan Danielczak's down payment was actually taken by an undercover agent of the state Division of Criminal Investigation. Danielczak believed the agent was a "hitman."

Danielczak was arrested Thursday at her workplace in Tomahawk. She's currently in Oneida County Jail, facing charges for solicitation to commit first degree intentional homicide.

"We've had other cases involving domestic violence and things like [that], but this is my first time that I've seen that in 28 years," said Rhinelander Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A "somewhat unclear", but potential threat led Rhinelander High School to increase the police presence on Friday.

A statement from the School District of Rhinelander reports a note mentioning some sort of threat was found in a boys' bathroom stall after students arrived in the morning.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here