Tuesday, September 2, 2014


                            Our History....
WKM then
                        WKM Then....

The building, constructed in 1919 that WKM properties now occupies, was purchased in 1943 by Walker Woodworth and Harry Stone to become the [Winona] Knitting Mills.  They chose Winona because of their dealings with Jack Temple and the Winona Textile Mill located on Second and Walnut streets.  The Woodworths were attracted to Winona because of the community’s beautiful river valley setting, small town values, and a skilled and hard working labor force.  The WKM building was originally built for the Oxford Linen Company mattress factory in the 1919 but that did not materialize and construction stopped with only two stories completed.

In 1920 Webster Woolen Mills relocated from Rushford into the WKM building after adding a third floor and boiler and cleaning room.  They moved on to Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1923.  The building was later occupied by Diamond-Huller Foundry.  When Walker Woodworth took over the 25,000 SF building in 1943 it had stood partially empty for a number of years.  The roof leaked, the toilet and heating systems were gone, the elevator was shot and it was a dirty mess.  The building was cleaned up, painted inside; new boilers and a complete heating plant were installed.  The Winona Knitting Mills opened its doors and knitted its first garment in August of 1943.  Since then the building located on roughly one acre was expanded 17 times to reach its current size of 100,000 SF. 

In 2000 The Winona Knitting Mills, Inc. closed its doors as a sweater manufacturer after 57 years.  Pete Woodworth purchased all the manufacturing properties from the remaining Woodworth owners with a dream of converting it into a professional building complex for offices, warehousing and manufacturing.  The roughly one acre had expanded by 5 separate purchases of adjacent land.  The property now includes almost 8 contiguous acres of land containing roughly 700 feet of Mississippi riverfront, numerous parking lots, truck and employee access areas, and 2 industrial buildings totaling roughly 225,000 square feet.         

                           WKM Now...


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