Renovations to former "Poor Farm" barn create new storage space

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator


October 31, 2017

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


Renovations to former "Poor Farm" barn create new storage space

Renovations are underway on the Cook Home Barn, a former cow barn built in 1926 when the county operated a "poor farm." The 8,500 square foot building is the last original building from the former poor farm. In recent years, the barn has been used for cold storage for Sheriff's Office vehicles. 

The County is investing $607,000 to restore the barn. In addition to preserving a piece of county history, the repairs will make it possible to use the barn for storage of additional vehicles, equipment, and old records. The restoration work includes structural foundation repairs, a new roof, window repairs, new siding and new electrical circuits; and is expected to extend the building's life another 90 years. With the exception of the new shingles being installed next spring, the rest of the work is should be completed this fall. 

The Cook Home Barn is part of the Public Safety Complex, and sits near the intersection of Rice Lake Road and Arrowhead Road.

Johnson-Wilson Constructors is the contractor for the project.

Cook Home Barn
Work is underway to renovate the Cook Home Barn, the last orginal structure from the former county poor farm. Once work is done, the barn will provide much needed storage space.