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Cook County, Minnesota

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The first inhabitants of this area were the Ojibwe people. The first non-indigenous people to see the area were French fur traders, a few of whom settled in the area (by the 1830s the French population of this area was a few dozen). In the 1830s, settlers began arriving from New England and from upstate New York. Completion of the Erie Canal (1825) and settling of the Black Hawk War (1831) made this migration wave safer and easier.

Most of Cook County's 1830s settlers came from Orange County, Vermont and Down East Maine (modern day Washington County and Hancock County). Most were fishermen and farmers. By 1845 the future Cook County contained some 350 people of European descent; by 1874 there were about two thousand. They were primarily members of the Congregational Church, Methodist, and Baptist churches. By 1900 there were about 3,000 people in Cook County.

The first decade of the twentieth century saw a large influx of Europeans, from Germany, Scandinavia, and Ireland. These waves introduced Lutheranism and Catholicism to Cook County.

The county was created on March 9, 1874. It was named for Michael Cook, Territorial and State Senator.

Adjacent Counties & Provinces

Cities, Towns & Communities

  • Chippewa City
  • Colvill
  • Croftville
  • East Cook
  • Grand Marais (County Seat)
  • Grand Portage
  • Hovland
  • Lutsen
  • Maple Hill
  • Martin Landing
  • Mineral Center
  • Pigeon River
  • Sawbill Landing
  • Schroeder
  • Taconite Harbor
  • Tofte
  • West Cook



Amboy & George Spencer Shipwreck Sites

Grand Portage National Monument

Genealogy Trails

Cook County Historical Society

Roots Web

MN Gen Web