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Wintergreen Northern Wear
205 East Sheridan Street
Ely, MN 55731

Telephone: 218-365-6602

Year Started: 1986

# American Employees: 25
  Celebrating 25 Years on "The Road Less Traveled" Call it an epiphany but ever since our first dogsled trip in 1979, winter has been a way of life. We've learned to stay warm, have fun and follow our dreams in some of the world's most wintery places. 1979: Paul Schurke & Greg Lais found Wilderness Inquiry, a non-profit endeavor group, providing Boundary Waters canoe trips for disabled persons. 1982: Paul and Susan Schurke team up with Will Steger to help run the Lynx Track Winter School, teaching dog sledding and wilderness skills to college and community groups. 1985: Paul Schurke & Will Steger begin plans for a dogsled expedition to the North Pole. Susan Schurke develops her design talents by crafting Eskimo-style apparel from new synthetic fabrics, to be used on numerous expeditions which then became known as Wintergreen Northern Wear. 1986: Paul Schurke, Will Steger, Ann Bancroft and their team reach the North Pole by May 1st, in the first confirmed trek to the top of the world without resupply. Wintergreen clothing becomes a success, keeping the explorers warm throughout the 1,000-mile, 2-month journey, even as temperatures dipped to -70o. 1990: Paul Schurke and Russian colleague Dmitry Shparo lead the Bering Bridge Expedition from Siberia to Alaska to help reconnect arctic cultures long separated by the Cold War. The US-Soviet border in the Bering Strait firmly closed and known as the "Ice Curtain" for most of this century is reopened. Presidents Bush and Gorbachev congratulate the Bering Bridge team for its role in the process. 1992: Wintergreen Northern Wear grows to include manufacturing facilities, a retail store and catalog, on Ely’s main street. Susan Schurke receives the regional "Entrepreneur of the Year" award. 1997: Paul leads a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to the North Pole. Two years later he heads that way again with a team that includes Admiral Robert Peary's great grandsons. 1999: Paul's fifth North Pole trek helps raise a million dollars for Great Aspirations, a family-focused education charity founded by team member Doug Hall. Team members included Corky Pererson who, at age 70, became the oldest American to reach the North Pole on foot. 2000: A Wintergreen team traverses the new Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut , reaching the magnetic North Pole. In July, a Wintergreen group pioneers the first-ever eco-trek to the Russian arctic's premier wildlife refuge Wrangel Island . Wintergreen Northern Wear launches it’s first website. 2001: A Wintergreen group dogsleds across northwestern Greenland with the Inuit descendants of North Pole discoverers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson. The trek is documented by the National Geographic TV film "Ice Rider." Wintergreen assists in the production of a Dateline NBC/Discovery Channel film on the 1914 Karluk Expedition, one of the most tragic chapters in American polar exploration history. 2002: March: Outside magazine ranks Wintergreen among the "Top Ten" most innovative and influential outdoor companies of the past quarter Century and ranks Wintergreen's Greenland trips among the "Top 25" adventures of a lifetime. April/May: Wintergreen returns to Greenland with a crew from Smithsonian Magazine. June: Wintergreen pioneers a rafting/hiking trek on the volcanic Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka. 2003: The NBC Today Show features Wintergreen and NBC Dateline premieres "Ice Master," an arctic docu-drama shot in part at Wintergreen. 2004: Smithsonian Magazine features Wintergreen's Greenland trips as it's January cover story. A February photo feature titled "Mush with the Best!" National Geographic Adventure magazine cites Wintergreen Dog sledding Vacations as the best in the business. Wintergreen opens a toy store (Toys in the Woods), in the log cabin adjacent to the Ely Wintergreen Store on Sheridan Street. 2005: Wintergreen opens a second store in the Historic Fitgers Building in Duluth MN . Paul Schurke receives the “Environmental Hero” award from the National Wilderness Society for his conservation efforts. 2006: A Wintergreen group pioneers a dogsled trip across the Norwegian arctic island of Svalbard . Wintergreen is featured in the PBS TV series “Great Adventure Lodges of North America” and in the Discovery channel feature: “The Vacation You Need.” 2007: Wintergreen helps host the regional “Step it Up” rally for national action on climate change. 2008: Wintergreen Northern Wear continues their efforts for ‘being Green’ and commits to mailing only one catalog per year. Samantha Brown of the ‘Travel Channel’ travels to Ely to embark on a Wintergreen dogsled adventure. 2009: Wintergreen Northern Wear rolls out Group Sales division, offering a variety of clothing options for organizations and teams. Wintergreen launches new website, which allowed connectivity into on-line communities. “Toys in the Woods” website introduced. 2010: Wintergreen sponsors John Beargrease and Wolf Track Classic Dog Sled Events. Wintergreen Redesigns Ely Retail store and expands "Toys in the Woods" Toy store from 600 sq ft. to 3400 sq ft. Wintergreen introduced New Kids line of clothes and Wool Vest for Men and V-Neck Windshirts for Golfing. Wintergreen Northern Wear celebrates its 25th anniversary 25 Plus Years Later: Wintergreen Northern Wear continues to proudly make clothing in Ely, Minnesota, making it among a few remaining clothing manufacturers in America.  
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Thoughts on America:
We need to focus consumers on American Made products. Today its difficult to find Made in America clothing and we are one of these companies and need help to grow. We sell to over 60 counties - yes we export clothing hard to believe in todays world.
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