About The River

Friday, January 31, 2014

On the Road Friday ~ Stormy Kromer ~ Ironwood, Michigan

We are on the road today. We are heading to Ironwood, Michigan.

Did you know that Ironwood, Michigan is the home of the famous Stormy Kromer hat?

The History Behind the Legend of Stormy Kromer

George "Stormy" Kromer was a real guy - a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer. Not the kind of guy you'd expect to start a clothing company, in other words, but one who happened to create a cap that became known for long-comfort and the ability to stay snug, even in the fiercest winds.
This final feature, in fact, is the reason he made his famous headgear in the first place, but we'll get to that in a bit.
Mr. Kromer, known as "Stormy" to the folks who knew his temper, was born in 1876 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. He grew up with baseball and would eventually play on nearly 30 semi-pro teams throughout the Midwest. He might have continued to play that field, too, but he met Ida, and before Ida's father would allow her hand in marriage, our ballplayer needed to find real work.
That meant the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad and long, cold trips across the plains. Stormy was an engineer, and to see where he was headed, he had to stick his head out the window - into the wind. Mother Nature stole his cap more than once, and as the story goes, he set out to get her back.
In 1903, he asked Ida (now his wife and an excellent seamstress) to modify an old baseball cap to help keep it on in windy weather. The all-cloth cap with the soft, canvas visor was a departure from the traditional fedoras of the day, but it was more comfortable and because of it's six-panel fit, it stayed put.
Soon other railroad workers wanted one of Stormy Kromer's caps for themselves, and when Ida could no longer keep up with demand, they hired a few employees and the business was born.
A lot of things have changed since those first few caps - new colors, new fabrics, new styles - but we haven't changed the way we make 'em. They're hand-stitched right here in the good old U-S-of-A, and they're still made to fit better than anything you've had next to your noggin. Stormy Kromer caps are true to the original, and that means you get all the comfort and function that made them famous.
Wear one, and you'll know what we mean.

 My husband and I have always wanted Stormy Kromer hats. My sister blessed us with our very own Stormy Kromer hats for Christmas.

 I love my hat. It is so nice and warm. 
All in one little cap.
The Stormy Kromer is made of top notch wool and cotton. The breathability of cotton and moisture absorption of wool is a powerful combination, and one sure to keep you comfy all day long. 
 Made in the U.S.A.
We are really happy about that!

 One of the fun things that came along with our hat was the Stormy Kromer Owner's Certificate of Legendaryness. How Fun! I will share with you a few of  the ideas.

* Tip your cap to other Kromer - wearers
* Go outside every chance you get
*Remember that Sunday mornings aren't just for brunch
*Teach your kids that there's a real world beyond the worldwide web
*Always be true to yourself

 Thank you for coming along today.
If you head up to Michigan, look for the BIG Stormy Kromer Hat.

Have a great weekend.


  1. Carla, what a wonderful post. Everyone should read this! I enjoyed every little bit of info you shared. They are very attractive also.

  2. Those hats are so cute! I had no idea about the story behind them. Really neat. And I love the Owner's Certificate of Legendaryness. So cool!

  3. I've been through ironwood several times, but I've never seen this place or heard of the hats.
    thank you for sharing it's story. I can see that I would love a Stormy Kromer hat too.
    They kind of look like Elmer Fud's hat!

  4. OMG Carla, I have lived in Michigan all my life and have never heard of these caps. Thank you for sharing! Love your hats ! Janice

  5. Somehow we missed seeing "the hat" during our trip up to the U.P. Your post brought a smile to my face as this is a hat that Mike favored. I remember when Mom bought him one for Christmas. Memories...

  6. No Way! I am very familiar with Ironwood...and the current owners of Stormy Kromer. What a wonderful post. As always, I love your pictures!


High Fives from Wisconsin!