Wurzel's Dairy Store

August 5, 1950, Kenneth Wurzel opened his Dairy Store in Cook. It was located just north of the Miller's IGA grocery store building which is now Gustafson Motors and the Mecca Inn. The Dairy Store building is now the Dreamweavers Beauty Shop. Ken's wife Coral and their only child Jake also worked in the business. Coral was a long time teacher at the Cook High School. Their son Jacob worked at the dairy store when not attending school. He is a 1956 graduate of the Cook High School. Kenneth passed away at the age of 87 in 2000 and Coral at the age of 92 in 2006. Jake's wife Florence "Billie" passed away at the age of 65 in  2004. Jake and Billie have two sons.

The Dairy store not only sold dairy products but also served the best hamburgers in the area. The place was always very clean. This was the first place I took Muriel out to dine, before we were married. Back then hamburgers were only twenty five cents. Of course many were earning less than a dollar an hour.

One evening some of us young fellows agreed to meet at Wurzel's for burgers. If you remember, when guys go somewhere they each take their own car. I was the first to arrive and I parked in front of the house next to the dairy store with my 1950 Ford Crestliner to wait for the others. Soon one of my friends came from the north (downtown Cook) and made a quick U-turn squealing his tires as he parked next to me. He got out of his car and walked over to visit me as I sat in my car. The deputy sheriff quickly came out of his house, he yelled at me saying "I heard you squealing your tires" at which I said "It wasn't me!" He said "Don't get smart with me." Just fortunately Mr. Wurzel was standing at his store window and had witnessed the whole event. He came out to tell the deputy I wasn't  the one that squealed the tires. The Deputy returned to his house. I learned a lesson that day that has stayed with me all of my life, do not judge anything until you know the facts.

In corresponding with Jake who has lived and worked in Duluth since attending college there, I asked him for information about the dairy bar and also of the Evergreen Cabins which his father built two miles south of Cook on highway 53. Jake sent the photos shown below and the following information.


My Dad built the Evergreen Cabins in 1947. After our arrival in NE MN in 1946, my Mom and Dad came to the conclusion that there were very few places to stay for just overnight accommodations.

Mom got a teaching job at the Cook school and we moved in to the teacherage of the old school. My Dad bought the 40 acres on 53 from, I believe from Mrs. Benson, our neighbor. He later bought the back 40, but I don't remember from whom. He hired a semi-retied lumberjack from Ely, John Untinen, and the two of them logged all winter to provide the lumber to build the cabins. He rented a logging horse, Laura, from I think Jim Nelson's Mom. I'm not 100% sure of that. We had 5 cabins--three doubles and two singles. No running water and only outdoor toilets. They rented really well. We were nearly at 100% occupancy for the summer months. I believe the double rate was $5.00-a lot of money for those days. In 1949, Harold Chinn, who was retiring as a coach at Morgan Park HS in Duluth offered to buy the cabins. My Dad sold to him and the following year,


1950 we opened the Wurzel's Dairy Store. So that's how I got my start in the hotel business, which I spent 43 years of my adult life doing.


Jake spent a lifetime working with the Goldfine family in Duluth. First at one of their motels as a clerk while attending the University of Minnesota Duluth, He then worked his way up to management and then partnership. Check out more information about Jake which is found by typing in "Jacob Wurzel" on Google search.


Ken and Jake Wurzel





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