Mike Worcester "The Black Eagle Comes To Cokato." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (February, 2017) vol. 37 no. 1.
Each fall, from 1903 through 1915, the Cokato Street Fair took place. We have written about those before. We also have two files of images from those events. One of those images came to us in July 1996. It was an undated postcard view of a speaker at one of the fairs. The image, seen be-low, showed how community events in those days functioned. The caption reads: “SPEECH, BY, SEN. M.E. CLAPP, “COKATO FAIR” COKATO MINN.”
Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The "3.2" Joints," In the Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society, (September, 2017) Vol 37, No. 4.
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.
Mike Worcester, "The Saloons Must Go," In the Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society, (Spring, 1997) Vol 17, No. 2.
Calgren's saloon, Millard Ave, circa 1910.
In the state of Minnesota today—'although no one is really quite sure—there are approximately sixty communities that are classified as “dry” towns.‘ Simply put these towns, by statute, do not allow the issuance of licenses to sell anything stronger that 3.2% beer. No strong beer, wine, or liquor can be sold. Cokato is one of those towns. And how it came to be this way is a story that is full of twist, turns, and legal shenanigans that could make modern audiences blush. Before we begin this tale though, some background is needed.
Blog articles are subject to copyright.