Michigan Roadside Attractions: Giant Stormy Kromer Hat in Ironwood
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
The Stormy Kromer hat is an easily recognizable piece of Midwest fashion, and a roadside monument and plaque in Ironwood tells the history of the cap and its legacy. In the early 1900s a railroad worker named George Kromer was sick of losing his hat and he asked his wife to make him a new one with some improvements. The result was the Stormy Kromer cap, a snug, six-panel hat with an earband that pulls down. The hats were made by hand and became so popular amongst railroad workers that a factory was started is Wisconsin.
Many years later, word got out that the company was in decline and facing closure. Jacquart Fabric Products of Ironwood was able to make a deal and move the Stormy Kromer Mercantile to Ironwood, MI. Since then, they have expanded the line with new colors and designs, shirts, bags and a line of hats for women. The large cap is located on the south side of US-2 just east of Luxmore St. The factory, which is open for tours, can be found a few blocks south at 1238 Wall St. Click here for more information.
This homage to a piece of Michigan’s history and the chance to see caps being made at the factory are just a few blocks from another of our favorite Michigan roadside attractions – Hiawatha, the World’s Tallest Indian.