Company Town

Kohler headquarters, Kohler, WI
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I've lived in Wisconsin most of my life, but I'm still learning about it.

Kohler is a major industry started in Wisconsin and I knew there was a town with the same name.  I didn't know more.

It turns out Mr. John Michael Kohler was a visionary.  He not only saw the possibilities in bathtubs; he wanted a place to build up the business.

4 miles out of Sheboygan, Mr. Kohler set up shop and eventually, a company town.  He died shortly after the move. His sons bought out his partners and continued the work.

One of the differences in Kohler is the employees were encouraged to start their own credit union so they could own their homes instead of paying the company.

John Michael Kohler, Founder,
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Most of the homes were built between 1917 and 1931.  To this day, nearly all are owner occupied.  It's an incorporated village with its own council and its own school.

Kohler's sons didn't want their executives serving as leaders in local government, but others did.  To this day, the company is the town and the town is the company.

Beside the plumbing, engines, and generators - Kohler's entry into hospitality is also part of the local landscape.

There's The American Club and equally luxurious Kohler Waters Spa.

The American Club, Kohler
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There's two premier golf courses nearby, including Whistling Straits which hosted the 2015 PGA Championship.

As we drove around the village it looked like neighborhoods out of the movie Pleasantville.

It's impossible to get a real read on a community with a drive through some streets and a jaunt through the shops, but there is a feeling in the air.
Winter at Kohler
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A feeling of pride in craftsmanship; in the community; and in their way of life permeates the culture - at work, at home, and at play.

Visit Kohler - it's a fun education.