Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Cokato Street Fairs." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Fall, 1997) vol. 17 no. 4.
Early each October, from 1903 to 1915, downtown Cokato was transformed from a retail center into a thriving street fair. People came from miles around to see carnival entertainment, play games, and see huge displays of farm crops and home crafts.
Revised Version: Mike Worcester, "The Silent Policeman." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1997) vol. 17 no. 1.
By the early 1902s, Cokato had become a village full of automobiles. The recently completed Glacial Highway 10 (now Highway 12) had given area car owners a way to travel further than ever before. And while trains were still the main mode of transport, cars were here to stay.
But with these cars came new problems for city leaders. Parking difficulties, horse owners complaining about the new-fangled machines scaring their animals, and excessive speed, were just some of the hazards that arose. Of particular concern was proper etiquette for cars at intersections. While city ordinances specified that all cars must keep to the right of center and six miles per hour was the maximum speed allowed while making a turn, close calls and fender-benders abounded.
Revised. Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: Cokato's Hotels." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Spring, 1998) vol. 18 no. 2.
In the early morning hours of July 8, 1977, a fire started in one of the rooms of the Cokato Hotel, located next to the railroad tracks. In an era before mandatory smoke alarms, fire spread through the wood and brick structure, claiming five lives and destroyed the entire building. The fire also brought down the only hotel remaining in the community, and one has not been built since.
But there was a time when Cokato had as many as three hotels that stood ready to serve weary travelers passing through town.
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