Museum Staff, "Swimming Lessons from Susie." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (June, 2019) vol. 39 no. 2.
Susie Keskey began teaching swimming lessons on Brooks Lake on June 19, 1961. The lessons were sponsored by the Red Cross and the American Legion. They featured four divisions of instruction: Swimmers, Intermediate, Beginners, and Lifesaving. Keskey recalled that “When we had swimming lessons in early June the kids had a hard time staying warm. I had a lot of blue lipped kids.” She also remarked, “We would always bring a salt shaker to take off the blood suckers.”
When the museum staff begged Keskey for more stories about her time at Brooks Lake, she told us, “During playtime,
either before or after a swimming lesson, one of Nancy Dokken’s sons found an arrowhead in the water. I told him to take it to his mother and ask for a history lesson.”
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 & condensed version: Merlaine Samuelson, "Three Pedals And A Lever." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1995) vol. 15 no. 1.
This is all history now but in the spring of 1947 we went farther back in history. Lois Bergman and I decided we should buy a car so we could get beyond the confines of Cokato when the weather was so nice. With a teaching salary of $280 per month we knew that the car could not be new or even recent, so we went to Harold and Rub Harkman for some suggestions. They told us of a bachelor living in town who was now too old to drive; he had a 1917 Model T Roadster that was in excellent shape. We went to meet Mr. Gust Flood and bought his car for fifty dollars. Gust had only used it to go back and forth to Stockholm to care for and harvest ginseng (a medicinal plant which he marketed in New York) which he raised on his farm in Stockholm.
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