Cook County Courthouse, 411 West Second Street, Grand Marais, Minnesota

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Cook County Courthouse

Address: 411 Second Street W
Grand Marais, Minnesota
Cook County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1912
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Major Alterations: Intact
Historic Function: Courthouse
Current Function: Courthouse
Architect or source of design: Kelly & Lignell
Builder: Bowe & Burke Co.
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Concrete

Grand Marais Cook County

National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 83000902
Certification date: May 9, 1983
Level of significance: Local
Primary Style: Classical Revival

Built in 1912, the Cook County Courthouse is a great example of a classical revival building. Ionic columns support the area where Cook County Courthouse is written. Most of the building is made of brick and concrete. [1]



Cook County was established in 1882, with about 65 residents. Today, the population is about 5,000. It is bordered by only one other county (Lake), on the north by Canada and on the south by Lake Superior. The county encompasses approximately 1,000,000 acres of land in its jurisdiction, and only about 11% of that is private. That leaves plenty of protected federal land (the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness), unprotected federal land (the rest of the Superior National Forest) and state forestlands for all to appreciate and enjoy. Of the 87 counties in Minnesota, Cook ranks 13th in area and 85th in population, so traffic jams and crowd control are not issues here. Within the county, Grand Marais is the only incorporated city. There are three more townships, Hovland, Colvill and Lutsen, and Grand Portage is a sovereign nation. We have only one trunk highway, T.H. 61, known as the North Shore Scenic Drive, a Minnesota Scenic Byway and an All American Highway. The Gunflint Trail is another Minnesota Scenic Byway (there are only 22 in the entire state). We have a natural air conditioner in the summer (Lake Superior) and heater in winter. Cook County also has Minnesota’s high and low in terms of elevation – Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet above sea level, and Lake Superior is 602. There is only one traffic light in Cook County, and yep, Grand Marais has it. There are five Cook County Commissioners and three regularly scheduled commissioners’ meetings each month. Each commissioner is also a member of several committees, task forces, commissions and boards. The county has approximately 110 employees, providing services from assessments to zoning. Grand Marais was incorporated as a village in 1903. Today, the City of Grand Marais operates several enterprises including the Grand Marais Recreation Area and RV Park, the Grand Marais Pool, Gunflint Hills Golf Course, Grand Marais Municipal Liquor and the Public Utilities Commission. City Council meetings are regularly scheduled twice a month, and the Planning Commission meets once each month.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

[1] County government

/ National Historic Register

[2] virtual tour


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