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The city of Cook is in northeastern Minnesota, in Saint Louis County. The two main routes through the city are US Highway 53 and Minnesota Highway 1. Nearby communities include Angora, Gheen Corner, Idington, Linden Grove, Meadow Brook, Peyla, Shermans Corner, Sturgeon, and Wakemup. Cook serves as the gateway to the western half of Lake Vermillion, which hosts several vacation and outdoor resorts. April, John and Martha Olson were the first European-American settlers. They established a 160-acre homestead on land that now includes the Cook School. Settled in the 1890s, the community was originally known as Little Fork, for the Little Fork River that runs through it. Later it became known as Ashawa, which was finally changed to Cook in 1908 because of confusion on the part of the postal service with a village in the southern part of the state named Oshawa, its current name in honor of Wirth Cook, an owner of the railroad that was built through the city in 1903 or 1904. Cook was incorporated as a city in 1926. From a peak of 800 in 1980, the population of Cook has decreased slightly each census year. Prior to 1980, its population had increased slightly each census term.

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