In the Midst
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Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Chicken Shack," In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (October, 2012) vol. 32 no. 4.
In June 2000, a building moving company arrived in town. Their goal that day? To pick up and haul off a long-standing piece of the town’s history. On that day, the building which had housed the Little Chicken Shack was taken away.
Mike Worcester, Cokato Historical Society "In the Midst Of." (September, 2017) Vol 37, No. 4.
Troll In, originally located on Broadway next to city hall.
On election day 2006, the voters of Cokato shocked many, including themselves, by approving a ballot issue which allowed the city to issue licenses for the sale of strong beer, wine, and liquor. It brought to an end the status of Cokato being a “dry” town, a legacy dating back over ninety years.
We’ve written before about how Cokato became a dry town and what that meant. Our purpose here is to note how even with that dry status, area residents could buy beer at what were called “3.2 joints”.
Once National Prohibition ended in Minnesota in early 1933, the 3.2 establishments could apply for licenses. Many did over the years. By 2007 when the city was given the authority to issue licenses for strong beverages, only one was left, Nelson’s Bar & Grill, on Millard Avenue.
Article by Michael Worcester from the Cokato Historical Society's newsletter In the Midst Of, October, 2005, Vol. 25 No. 4.
It is known that the first car seen in Cokato appeared in late August 1900. As written in Cokato’s First Century:
“the occupants were a man and wife reported to be en route to Mille Lacs Lake to hunt and fish. The Enterprise editor wrote that the vehicle ‘speeded” along at a rate of 12 miles per hour when on a good road, and the horseless carriage was quite a sight for those who had never seen one before, which probably meant almost everyone in Cokato.”
It would be another three years before car ownership arrived in Cokato, when businessman Emil Erickson and farmer John Ojanpera each purchased a new Oldsmobile. Gust Akerlund joined the ranks of car owners two years later, when he purchased a 1905 Oldsmobile from a stranger who drove into town.
In that day, there were no service stations to supply the essentials needed for auto ownership. Oil and gas were bought in bulk from hardware dealers. It would be another thirteen years until an actual service station opened in Cokato. And when it did, it was under the ownership of the largest corporate conglomerate in the world, Standard Oil.