Cloquet, Minnesota

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Cloquet (pronounced /kloʊˈkeɪ/ ( listen)) is a city in Carlton County, Minnesota, United States, located at the junction of Interstate 35 and Minnesota State Highway 33. A portion of the city lies within the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation and also serves as one of three administrative centers for the Indian Reservation. The population was 11,201 at the 2000 census.

Cloquet is located on the St. Louis River.

Contents

History

Cloquet was incorporated as a village in 1884 and became a city, with a mayor and city council, in 1904.

The area was the site of the 1918 Cloquet Fire, which destroyed much of the town and killed approximately 500 people.

Cloquet is famed in American economic history because before and after the Second World War it was home of the strongest consumers cooperative of the country. The Cloquet Coöperative Society (founded 1910) operated two cooperative stores which handled food, hardware, shoes, drygoods, and furniture. Other cooperative services included a building supply store, a coal yard, a mortuary, an auto repair shop and a gas service station.

In 1939 the co-op did 35% of the business in the town and 18% in Carlton County. By the mid-1950s the consumer society had a membership of 4,262 on a population of 8,500. This was a national record, given the fact that the total business of all American co-ops combined represented only 0.5% of the economy. The Finnish cooperative groups of the area also had an influence on the American cooperative movement in general.

- In 2001 a tradition was established which celebrated the 5th of July 1776, the day on which it is imagined that the country's founding fathers reflected on their accomplishments of the previous day. For many years this celebration was undertaken by the youth of Cloquet much to the delight of the local populace. The celebration is centered at the intersection of Carlton Avenue and Highway 33, and consists of a peaceful protest. In 2007, a new subject was addressed, the imperialism of the British Empire. A full fledged protest supporting the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands was staged and received considerable press in the city’s newspaper, “The Pine Journal.”


  • Florence C. Parker, The First 125 Years. A history of Distributive and Service Cooperation in the United States, 1829-1954 (Superior WI: CLUSA, 1956).

Architecture

Cloquet is home to the R.W. Lindholm Service Station, the only gas station designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and a structure now on the National Register of Historic Places.

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