A History of the "Old Building" that was torn down on Monday, March 06, 2017

by Muriel Simonson


                                                   1937                                                                              2016                                                              2017


This building has stood for many years and served as many businesses.  In early days it was the Cheer Café run by Alice Gustafson. Then Arnold & Alice Gustafson’s later built and ran the Mecca Inn for many years. (Ben Wilkin is a grandson). The Mecca is now the BIC Building for the BIC Realty offices.  There are also several other offices, businesses in the BIC Building.

The Cheer Café building became the newspaper office with Ray Wilkinson, then, H.P. Drummond. Do you remember the "Drumm Beats” column in the weekly paper?  Donna (Helstrom) Picek worked there as a teenager folding newspapers, and also printing the labels. 

Irv Bartlett had a bait shop in the building in the ‘60’s.  Bill Corcoran had his accounting office and also lived in the building for a time.  Larry and Becky Barnes operated their Vermilion Small Engine Shop.  The building was getting a bit old and beginning to lean a bit. In their ads they said ‘Our building may be crooked, but our prices are straight.’ They later built the building on Highway #53, that is now the Quilt Shop, and moved their business there. 

Lastly, this old landmark of Cook became a part of the Cook Building Center to be used for storage.  The Building is now gone!

*Jimmy Saranpaa has sent us additional information about what this building was used for - read about it in Notes From Readers

Below are photos of the demolition of this building...

An Old Building Is Coming Down Today - Monday, March 06, 2017

by Becky Trip

This morning around 11:30 a.m., I heard a noise outside, and I had a look out my window.  I saw that the old building that is currently owned by the Cook Building Center was being torn down.  This building has had numerous owners and housed many businesses.  My mom and I will put together the story of this building, as well as post more photos of the progress of the tearing down of this building.  For now, this is what we saw this morning...

The start of the tear down as seen through my window.


The view from West Vermilion Drive.


Neighbor Muriel Simonson and Gary Burkhardt of the Cook Building Center looking on.


My four year old daughter thought this looked like a huge T-Rex tearing apart the building.


The view from my window about an hour after it started.

Now it's gone...


Here are photos taken by Muriel Simonson during the demolition: