Feb. 19, 2007

Rooted in the past, growing towards the future

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

The Cokato Historical Society is a group of people who support the Cokato Museum and the Gust Akerlund Photo Studio.

They are President Mary Claire Krause, Vice President Colleen Nelson, Treasurer Norm Quanbeck, Secretary Susan Maikkula, Elroy Dahlin, Dori Erickson, Harlan Harkman, Donald Holm, Ruth Ann Licht, Jim Ryan, Cokato City Council Member Janice Severson, and Peggy Carlson, ex-officio.

First organized in 1974, the society raises funds to maintain exhibits, programs, publications, tours and special events at the museum. The society, in conjunction with the City of Cokato, oversees the museum and studio.

In 1992, the society adopted the following mission statement: “The Cokato Historical Society is committed to actively collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Cokato and the surrounding area in the community and beyond, to present programs to an audience of all ages, and maintain ties with our ethnic heritage, which is predominantly Swedish and Finnish.”

The museum staff is Mike Worcester, Audrey Tack and Vicky Janckila.

The society conducted its 2007 annual meeting Thursday at the Centennial Room, in the upper level of the library/museum building. The trustees reviewed the 2006 annual report and discussed what they believe is the future of the museum.

The museum just concluded an exhibit of toys, dolls and other fun gifts from past holiday celebrations Jan. 25.

The society also publishes a quarterly newsletter, “In the Midst of,” which is the Dakota meaning of “Cokato.” It tells about upcoming events at the museum and early opportunities to purchase new society publications.

The Cokato Museum is an award-winning local history museum that focuses on the history of the city of Cokato and the surrounding townships in southwestern Wright County.

The museum is at the corner of Fourth Street West and Millard Avenue South in downtown Cokato. Museum hours are Tuesday through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.

In addition to tours and exhibits, the museum also offers research resources, such as microfilm records, standard photocopies and photo reproduction. It also has access to the resources from the Minnesota Historical Society, Wright County Courthouse, Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums, Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society, and population and demographic information.

The Cokato Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The society has a number of available funds to which donations can be designated. They include endowment fund, building renovation and expansion fund, Gust Akerlund Studio fund, Model T car maintenance fund, snowmobile maintenance fund, and general operating fund. Any donation can be made in memory of a friend or loved one.

Membership rates for enrolling in the society are: individual, $10; family, $15; business, $25; supporter, $50; and benefactor, $100.

For more information about the Cokato Historical Society:

• Call the Cokato Museum at (320) 286-2427.

• Visit the museum’s web site: www.cokato.mn.us/cmhs/.

• E-mail the museum at cokatomuseum@cmgate.com.

• Pick up a free copy of the society’s newsletter, “In the Midst of,” at the museum at 175 4th St. W., Cokato.

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