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Date(s) - 08/07/2020
8:00 am - 6:30 pm

Manitowish Waters, WI

Hello Wisconsin – Where does “Up North” begin? Wisconsinites can’t agree. Up North is a state of mind and geography. Come with us as we explore a few of the interesting facts of Up North Wisconsin.

Manitowish Waters will be our first stop as we travel Up North. Wisconsin is the nation’s leading producer of cranberries, harvesting more than 60 percent of the country’s crop. Cranberries are grown on 21,000 acres across 20 counties in Wisconsin. The sand and peat marshes in central and northern Wisconsin create the perfect growing conditions for cranberries. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Cranberries grow on low running vines in sandy bogs and marshes. In Wisconsin, cranberry marshes are flooded with water to aid in harvesting. Because the tiny berries contain a pocket of air, when the marsh is flooded, the berries float to the surface to be picked up by harvesting equipment. We will enjoy an informative tour of a working cranberry bog and learn about the properties of cranberries as food and medicine, used as far back as the Native Americans.

Lunch today will be a special treat at the Lodge at Little Bohemia. Little Bohemia is the site of John Dillinger and the Dillinger Gang’s epic shootout with the F.B.I. The windows still have the bullet holes in them from the gun battle that unfolded 80 years ago. The Lodge is known for its great food and drinks since the 1920s. Step back in history at the lodge and remember… Dillinger only left because he had to!!!

Our next stop is Ironwood (we know it’s not Wisconsin but it’s still up north and such an interesting stop), at the Stormy Kromer cap factory. The Stormy Kromer cap was originally produced in Milwaukee and has been very popular with hunters and outdoorsmen since 1919. After repeatedly losing his cap on the wind-whipped locomotive where he worked, George Kromer asked his wife, Ida, to stitch a new-fashioned baseball cap with a higher crown, a pull-down earband to keep it snug, and a soft, cloth visor. Quickly, Stormy’s fellow engineers begged him for their own six-panel caps. In 1919, when the demand for caps outgrew the small operation, Ida and her helpers moved production and averaged 25 to 30 workers. Six decades after starting Stormy Kromer, George’s ill health made it necessary to ‘pass the hat’ and production continues into the 21st century. In 2001, Bob Jacquart purchased Stormy Kromer and relocated it to Ironwood, Michigan. The caps are still made in the USA and still crafted by hand. 2005 saw an addition to the line of caps made, this time for the women. With a new palette of colors and shorter-brimmed version of the original cap, this is a perfectly fitted homage to the woman whose needle and thread sparked the entire enterprise. Time will be allowed to visit the retail store following our tour.

A special stop to end our day will be at the Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips. It’s the place we’ve all driven by many times but didn’t take the time to visit. This park is an outdoor museum with 237 embellished concrete and mixed media sculptures built between 1948 and 1964 by Fred Smith, a retired lumberjack and self-taught artist and musician. Installed throughout Smith’s north woods property, the site is a historical panorama of life-size and larger-than-life sculptures depicting people, animals, and events from local, regional and national history, from local lore, and from Smith’s expansive imagination. Concrete will never seem the same after our visit to the Wisconsin Concrete Park.

This is number four in our series of four and we hope you enjoyed every one of them. For those that did join us on all four of our Hello Wisconsin tours, you will be receiving a special gift after this tour.


Tour includes: Deluxe motorcoach transportation, lunch and all admissions and services scheduled.

Departure time from Medford 8:00 a.m.

Approximate return time 6:30 p.m.