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Cook Home’s Closing video

 Collection — Box: VHS
Identifier: S4593

Scope and Contents

A newscast video of the Cook Home the day it was closed.


  • 1984


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

KBJR 6 and KDLH 3 signed on within two weeks of each other in the spring of 1954 as WDSM-TV and KDAL-TV. At first, WDSM, owned by Ridson Communications, was the CBS affiliated station in the Duluth-Superior area and KDAL, owned by Dalton LeMasurier, was the NBC station. The two stations swapped affiliations in October of 1955. Ridson sold KBJR in 1974 to Robert J. Rich, who in turn sold the station to current owner Granite Broadcasting in 1988.

The Cook home was established in the early 1880's on Rice Lake Road in the 1880's to provide housing and work for the indigent unemployed as the Poor Farm or Almshouse Hospital and Tuberculosis Sanitarium (1909) under the supervision of the St. Louis County Commissioners. In 1895 a three-member St. Louis County Poor Commission was established. The name "Cook Home" was chosen in 1934 as a tribute to Arthur P. Cook, secretary of the Poor Commission. In 1947 the Poor Commission was restructured as the St. Louis County Welfare Board, a five-member board (including two county commissioners). The Cook Home was licensed under the Minnesota Department of Human Services (formerly Department of Public Welfare) as a nursing home whose purpose is care for the aged and infirm of St. Louis County admitted on referral from the Minnesota Human Services Department.

The St. Louis County Poor Farm and Alms House initially was a frame 3-story building that housed 36 people.  It was built in 1880.  Architect John R. DeWaard designed a three-story, T-shape brick building with a basement that opened in 1905 to house 150 people plus the staff. The old, wooden structure remained. Mrs. Emily Fritzen suggested changing the name of the Poor Farm. She asked the County Board to eliminate the word “poor” which it did September 20, 1910. It was renamed Cook Home in honor of a long-time supervisor. The name was again renamed Chris Jensen for Christ or Chris Jensen who was superintendent of from 1910-1916. The facility transitioned to use as a nursing home. A 100-bed addition to St. Louis County’s Chris Jensen Nursing Unit opened August 1, 1986. The addition replaced the Cook Home.

In 1996, the modern Chris Jensen Unit was built. The old Cook Home, where Warren Jensen was administrator from 1955 to 1983, was razed at a cost of $120,000 in December 1986 after asbestos insulation removal was completed. Finally, the name became the Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center. It is located at 2501 Rice Lake Road and owned and operated by St. Louis County. In 2009, it served 205 nursing home residents.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



A newscast video of the Cook Home the day it was closed.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Guide to the Cook Home’s Closing video
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526