Cokato Museum and Akerlund Studio
The Cokato Museum, a cooperative effort between the City of Cokato and the Cokato Historical Society, provides a walk through the past as the story of Cokato’s rich history is told.
Located on the corner of Fourth Street and Millard Avenue, the museum features a variety of permanent exhibits displaying remnants of the past, along with featured exhibits throughout the year.
Past exhibits have included “So Won’t You Smile for the Camera?”, a look at photography and photographs across the decades; and “Cokato is Open for Business,” a look at some of the many businesses which have called Cokato home.
Artifacts from some of its most significant historical landmarks, such as the post office, bank, pharmacy, and dentist’s office, are among the permanent displays.
Over the last year, the museum staff have made numerous upgrades to the exhibit gallery, including an expanded church display, more about area schools, and the installation of the only known boat left the from the short-lived Cokato Boat Works.
Along with the temporary and permanent exhibits at the museum, the Cokato Historical Society also hosts an annual New Year’s open house with tin melting, a Finnish custom used to “predict” what will happen in the coming year.
In 2013, the museum hosted its first-ever Happy Birthday, Cokato reception. Other annual events include being open extended hours during the Cokato Corn Carnival, and the annual Memorial Day open house.
Built in 1905, the Gust Akerlund Studio is located on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Fourth Street, and is another place that tells the story of Cokato’s rich history.
The studio, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is open for viewing and features original cameras, equipment, and furnishings used by the early 20th century photographer. Tours are provided by Cokato Museum staff.
The Cokato Museum hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and closed Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays. Tours are available by appointment. There is no admission fee. Check out the Cokato Museum’s website, www.cokatomuseum.org for more details, or call (320) 286-2427.