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Historic Cook County


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Photo by Jason Carpenter on Flickr

Historic Cook County: The UFO sighting of September 5, 1966

Reports of UFOs date back to as early as 1400 BC, and Cook County is no exception. During the 1960s, a local Cook County woman gained the attention of a scientist, Dr. James McDonald, after she reported seeing a strange object in the sky. Her case was one of many featured in a national study funded by the United States Air Force and titled the “Condon Report.”

Dr. McDonald’s efforts in locating the woman led to a correspondence with Cook County News-Herald editor, Adolf “Ade” Toftey.

This is a story about the search for the local woman, featuring original letters from the archives of the Cook County Historical Society.
 
View the slideshow for photos of Ade Toftey and Dr. James McDonald.

This feature is a collaboration between WTIP and the Cook County Historical Society, and produced by Martha Marnocha.

Special thanks to Erik Hahn as the voice of Dr. James McDonald.
 

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Pat "Paddy" Bayle along the Gunflint Trail

Historic Cook County: The demise of a trapper along the Gunflint Narrows

There are many stories from the early days of northeast Minnesota, and it’s the mission of the Cook County Historical Society to document and record these glimpses of our past. Here’s an excerpt from a 2008 oral history by LeRoy Creech. Creech recalls a story he’d been told by Pat "Paddy" Bayle about finding the body of a 1900s fur trapper along the Gunflint Narrows.

LeRoy “Lee” Creech was the son of Judge James and Hazel (Andersen) Creech, and lived in “Creechville” in Grand Marais for 75 years. Lee worked at a gas station, the Forest Service, the Cook County School District and also owned and operated the NAPA store in Grand Marais until his retirement in 1993. Lee enjoyed fishing, playing music, and spending time at the family's cabin on Clearwater Lake. Lee died in 2012.

Patrick ”Paddy” Bayle was a former state forester and Cook County sheriff and served for 27 years as area forest ranger. Pat Bayle died in 1954 at the age of 77. The Pat Bayle State Forest is located near Grand Marais.

View the slideshow for photos of Pat "Paddy" Bayle and LeRoy "Lee" Creech.

This feature is a collaboration between WTIP and the Cook County Historical Society, and produced by Martha Marnocha.

 

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The Liberty in the Grand Marais Harbor, with lighthouse in the background

Historic Cook County: Shipwrecks in the Grand Marais Harbor?

Lake Superior is well known as a graveyard for many shipwrecks, but some people might be surprised to learn that at least two ships have the Grand Marais Harbor as their final resting place. Producer Martha Marnocha finds out more from diver and local shipwreck historian, Stephen Daniel.

This feature was produced by the Cook County Historical Society in collaboration with WTIP and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
 
(Photo of the schooner Elgin courtesy of Great Lakes Marine Collection, Milwaukee Public Library/Wisconsin Marine Historical Society; photo of the steamer Liberty courtesy of the C. Patrick Labadie Collection, Superior, Wisconsin)
 

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Red Rock Variation - George Morrison

Historic Cook County: Closing the Circle - Artist George Morrison

"Closing the Circle: Artist George Morrison"
 
George Morrison was an internationally known artist. He grew up outside of Grand Marais in an Ojibwe village called Chippewa City. Although he lived most of his adult life in a variety of large cities – he eventually returned to Cook County in his later years. Producer Martha Marnocha spoke with George Morrison’s former wife, Hazel Belvo, along with their son, Briand, in this feature about the artist’s life-long connection with Chippewa City and Cook County.

This feature was produced by the Cook County Historical Society in collaboration with WTIP and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Fund.
 

Music for this feature was provided by Briand Morrison from his "Musical Impressions: The Art Of George Morrison" CD.  

Photo: “Red Rock Variation” by George Morrison, 1985

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