July 2, 2007
Cokato landmarks featured
New guidebook shows Gust Akerlund Studio and Temperance Corner
By Kristen Miller
Two of Cokato’s historical landmarks can be seen by many in a new guidebook, “Minnesota Open House: A Guide to Historic House Museums.”
The Gust Akerlund Studio and Temperance Corner are both listed among nearly 200 Minnesota house museums.
The book is a traveler’s companion to grand mansions, humble homes, log cabins, and pioneer villages.
The landmarks are categorized by region and then by county. Author Krista Finstad Hanson gives a detailed explanation of the featured house museums, a detailed map by county, directions and contact information.
Museum Director Mike Worcester remembers Hanson coming out to visit and photograph the Akerlund Studio and learn more about it.
“We are pleased we were included in this fine publication,” Worcester said.
A picture of Akerlund Studio even made the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the June 10 edition, with a feature article of Hanson’s book.
“We are also gratified the article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press included information on us as well . . . a little free publicity never hurts,” Worcester said.
Although this is the first time the Akerlund Studio was featured in the Pioneer Press, it was prominently recognized in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in March 1996 and February 1998.
Meeker County was also recognized with the Forest City Stockade and the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall in Litchfield.
Other historical sites across Minnesota included in this book are, the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, and the Finland Heritage Site in Finland Minnesota, that is.
Author Finstad Hanson teaches English as a second language at a community center in St. Paul and has written a similar guidebook for Wisconsin.
Her fascination with old houses came at a very young age.
“As a kid, I always liked older houses, but I never had lived in one,” she said.
When she was in junior high, she subscribed to Architectural Digest, even though she already knew she wanted to be an English teacher.
“I figured I would just write about it,” she said.
Akerlund Studio happens to be one of her favorite a must see, she said.
“Everything is there, from the old equipment and negatives to the 1930s furnishings in the apartment. It’s stunning,” she said.
The book can be purchased on the Minnesota Historical Society’s web site, www.shop.mnhs.org, for $17.95, or at any book store.