Discover Cook County history with every step you take. We’re proud of our long history and heritage and we think you will be too. As you discover our culture, towns and wilderness, imagine what life might have been like in years past. Life was challenging at times, but it was also full of value, adventure and community – pillars we still hold dear in Cook County today. Many aspects of Cook County’s history have been documented and carefully preserved in museums and nature centers, but it goes deeper than that.
Our history is imprinted on the very core of everyone who calls Cook County home. Our history is a part of our present. It’s an important piece of what makes our region so special and so attractive to thousands of people every year.
Lutsen, Tofte and Schroeder
Fishing is in Cook County’s lifeblood. The Lutsen-Tofte-Schroeder region is home to the North Shore Fishing Museum, where you’ll discover a new appreciation of commercial fishing and the arduous work fishermen have endured throughout the years to bring fresh fish to market. The industry looks different today, but it remains vitally important to our culture. The Cross River Heritage Center located in Schroeder, MN on the North Shore of Lake Superior, is the place to visit to experience local heritage and culture. The building itself has an interesting history, with its distinguishing Tudor-style architecture, was originally built in 1929. Over time it has become a landmark, known by both tourists and local residents alike, as the heart of Schroeder. Its unusual architecture makes it the only Tudor building in Cook County since its construction. Through the years it has been home to The Stickney Inn, as well as a boarding house, restaurant, general store, post office, gas station and meat market. As you enter Cook County you will see the scenic byway sign for Sugarloaf Cove, home to Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center. The Cove is renowned for its 1.1 billion year old lava flows and its beautiful cobblestone beach. The Center offers a breadth of nature oriented activities and learning opportunities for families and individuals.
To experience this rich history of Grand Marais, don’t miss the Johnson Heritage Post or the Cook County Historical Museum. Today, Grand Marais is best known as a quirky art colony, and we remember the rich Native American history and European trading that built our city’s foundation.
In Grand Portage, the Anishinaabe culture and heritage is alive and well, permeating the area with important reminders like the Grand Portage National Monument. The structures are an accurate reconstruction of the North West Company’s fur trading outpost where the voyageurs launched into our area for trading.
The long history of the Gunflint Trail has been carefully preserved at the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. Alongside in-depth looks at the historical culture that shaped the area, you’ll find detailed displays of the area’s natural progression through time.
Cook County has an incredible and long history that captures the minds and hearts of all who visit. It was shaped as much by natural events as it was by human development. Today, thanks to our history, we look to the future and embrace the present.