Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Cooksville Coop

The Cooksville Coop is a local buying club which has been in existence since 2005. Currently there are about 8 member families, and the coop is looking for new members. Orders are placed monthly online and delivered to the Cooksville Store for pickup by members.

For more information call Jody at (608) 719-9205. You can also visit the distributer's website which is United Natural Foods,

Here is a sampling of products that are offered through the coop:

BULK: Baking products, flours, sweeteners, candy & coated confections, coffee & tea, dried fruit, grains & beans, herbs, spices & nutritionals, nuts & seeds, pasta, snacks, trail mixes & cereals.

FROZEN FOODS: baked goods & breakfast foods, desserts, yogurt & novelties, entrees, pasta, pizza, fruit & veggies, juice & beverages, meat, poultry, fish & substitutes.

DAIRY & PERISHABLES: Fresh beverages, cheese & cheese substitutes, tofu, soy foods & Seitan, yogurts & cultured products.

GROCERY PRODUCTS: baby foods, baked goods, baking products, mixes, flour, etc., bars (cereal, snack & granola), nutritional bars, packaged beans, grains, dried fruit, coffee and coffee substitutes, misc mixes, juice, nectar & concentrates, non-dairy beverages, carbonated juice & soda, tea, water, candy bars, gum, cough drops, canned foods, hot cereal, packaged clothing, condiments, mayo, catsup, vinegar, cookies, crackers, desserts, entrees, main dishes & mixes, fruit spreads, canned sauces, macrobiotic & Japanese foods, nut & see spreads, oils, paper goods & wipes, packaged pasta, pasta sauces, pet food & care, pickles, olives, kraut, rice cakes, salad dressings salsa & dips, sea vegetables, packaged seasoning & salt, canned soups, soup mixes, bouillion, Ramen, sweeteners, flavorings & syrup, tamaris, gravies, other sauces, tomatoes & tomato products.

PERSONAL CARE: bath and shower preparations, candles & incense, cosmetics, deodorants, facial care, feminine hygiene, hair care, hand and body lotion, oils (essential, body & Massage) ointments & medicinal creams, oral hygiene, personal care accessories, body soaps, sun care.

SUPPLEMENTS: many and various brands

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

John Wilde

Learn about the art of former Cooksville resident, John Wilde, at an exhibition of his works at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison. This show closes just before the Cooksville Community Center presentation on John's life and work. For more information, see,%20through%20July%2025,%202010&loc=Mayer%20Gallery

John Wilde – Good Things in Cooksville, Sunday, August 1, 2:00 p.m.
Virginia Francis, a Chazen Art Museum docent, will give a brief presentation on John Wilde and his place in the 20th century art world. She will then facilitate an audience participation discussion about John, which will allow the audience to share memories about our former neighbor who died in 2006. John referred to himself as an “American Magical Realist Artist.” Cooksville had a special place in his heart, which is the theme for the presentation. This event is scheduled as a special event for the residents of the village and friends of John and Shirley Wilde. Some of John's artwork will be available to view. There is no fee for the event.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Cooksville Farmhouse Inn

The Cooksville Farmhouse Inn has been open for business since February of 2008. For the first two years customers were few and far between, but that gave the Degners time to collect furnishings, pictures, kitchen items and bedding. Eric Diedrick of New Concept Webs developed their website,, and gave them lots of good advice. Their big break came when they listed on, which is Vacation Rentals By Owner, in the Fall of 2009. Since then business has really picked up, and the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn has bookings every month from now until September.

Although the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn is a member of the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association, it is actually licensed as a tourist guest house, and Bob and Martha are only permitted by the Rock County Health Department to provide a continental breakfast for guests which currently includes fruit, commercially baked goods, juice, tea, coffee, and a scone mix for which guests need buttermilk and butter, now available at the Cooksville Store. “So much for a fancy, gourmet breakfast,” says Martha, “but it actually makes our job a lot easier to not be allowed to cook. Guests are welcomed to use the fully equipped kitchen to prepare meals for themselves, and they seem to appreciate that.”

Most recently a group of people from all over the country came for a week long seminar on acupressure. 15 people were there for the daytime classes and 8 stayed overnight. They rearranged furniture so as to be able to use their folding tables and work on each other. Martha even got a sample acupressure treatment which was as relaxing as a hot bath and a back scratch with a cup of tea on the side. They are coming back in September for part two of their class.

To learn more about the inn visit the website,, the blog,, or just stop by for a tour.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Cooksville Church

The Cooksville Congregational Church – “the little brown church on the corner” in Cooksville, Wisconsin – is available for weddings and other celebrations.
The Cooksville Church was designed and constructed for Congregationalists in 1879 by Benjamin Hoxie, a local self-taught architect. The church is one of the most distinctive buildings in the historic Village of Cooksville, displaying architectural styles popular at the time, such as round Italianate arches, Gothic Revival spires or minarets, varnished interior woodwork, and a hand-painted stained-glass window.
The Church played an important role in the lives of Cooksville’s transplanted New Englanders, who settled the village in the 1840s. It was the village’s first church and later served as the Porter Town Hall. The church was purchased in 1971 by Michael J. Saternus, a preservation architect, who restored the exterior, including the missing bell tower, four minarets, and front porch. The church has been repainted its original two tones of brown, and the interior has also been restored to its country-church simplicity. Once again, the Cooksville Church stands proudly at the village crossroads, an enduring monument to the vision, talents and hard work of the friends of Cooksville.
The Cooksville Church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and in the State Register of Historic Places as part of the Cooksville Historic District.
The historic Cooksville Church is not affiliated with any denomination. It may be rented for weddings or other ceremonies. The Church has seating (pews and side benches) for about 120 persons. The Church is unheated and does not have toilets, although facilities across the street at the “parsonage” may be used.
Rental fees (subject to change) are $200 for the day’s event and $50 for each additional hour on other days (such as for rehearsals or set-up times.)
The Cooksville Church is located at 12113 West State Road 59 in Cooksville, Rock County.
For reservation information, contact Larry Reed at (608) 873-5066

Friday, April 9, 2010

2010 Cooksville Community Center Calendar

Clean Up Day at the Center
Saturday, May 1, 9 a.m.
Come join the crew to shine up the center for a new season. Bring a rag, sponge and bucket, broom and dust pan. Inside the center we will sweep up the bugs, mop floors, clean bathrooms and kitchen, and wipe flat surfaces. We will also clean the basement and outhouses. Outside we will rake, trim and clean up brush from the eastern border of the property.

Cooksville Store Celebration and Open House
Sunday, May 2, 1-4 p.m.
The Cooksville Community welcomes you to enjoy live music and light refreshments at the COOKSVILLE GENERAL STORE OPEN HOUSE. Come celebrate with friends and neighbors, view the updated amenities, purchase new products offered at the store, and enjoy live music presented by the OK Band. Join us at 2:30 p.m. for a short ceremony commemorating the Cooksville General Store as we celebrate over 160 years of continuous operation.

Stoughton Chamber Singers Concert
Tuesday, June 8, 7 p.m.
The Stoughton Chamber Singers under the direction of John Beutel will present “Mostly Mozart” which will include a wide variety of choral literature by Mozart and people he knew. The concert will be held at the Cooksville Church on the corner of Hwy 138 and 59. Tickets are available at the Cooksville Store and from members of the group for $10/person. Proceeds benefit the Stoughton Chamber Singers and the Cooksville Community Center. Reception following in the Community Center.

Quarterly Community Center Board Meeting
Monday, June 14, 7 p.m.
Members of the Center are invited to attend the quarterly board meeting, which will be held at the Center.

Carving on the Commons
Saturday, June 26, 10-5 and Sunday June 27, 10-3
This two-day open air event will feature chainsaw carvers from throughout the Midwest. Come explore this powerful specialized form of woodworking and see art in the making. Admission is $5 per person or $15 per family for 2 days. Food and refreshments will be available for sale. There will be a drawing each day for a carving: Saturday at 1:00 and Sunday at 3:00. Auction of carvings Sunday at 3:00.

Independence Day Family Potluck Picnic
Sunday, July 4, 12:00 noon
Bring a dish to pass and your own silverware for a communal meal and games at the Cooksville Commons.

Cooksville Lutheran Summer Supper
Saturday, July 24, 4-7:00 p.m.
This event is sponsored by the Cooksville Lutheran Church to benefit the Church. A home cooked meal with dessert will be served from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Church. Other events are being considered to accompany the meal: a tour of the Cemetery and possibly music.

John Wilde – Good Things in Cooksville
Sunday, August 1, 2:00 p.m.
Virginia Francis, a Chazen Art Museum docent, will give a brief presentation on John Wilde and his place in the 20th century art world. She will then facilitate an audience participation discussion about John, which will allow the audience to share memories about our former neighbor who died in 2006. John referred to himself as an “American Magical Realist Artist.” Cooksville had a special place in his heart, which is the theme for the presentation. This event is scheduled as a special event for the residents of the village and friends of John and Shirley Wilde. Some of John's artwork will be available to view. There is no fee for the event.

Cooksville Lutheran Church Fall Festival
Sunday, September 12, 11 a.m.
Home cooked meal, prepared by members of the Church, with children’s games, items for sale (arts & crafts, collectibles, antiques, produce, fall mums), Silent Auction, and more. Proceeds benefit Cooksville Lutheran Church.

Quarterly Community Center Board Meeting
Monday, September 13, 7 p.m.
Members of the Center are invited to attend the quarterly board meeting, which will be held at the Center.

Cooksville Community Center Annual Meeting
Monday, September 27, 7 p.m.
Learn what has happened this year and what is on the agenda for the future. This is your opportunity to voice your opinions about the Center. We want your input to help us manage the center.

Annual Halloween Party
Saturday, October 16, 6:30 p.m.
Please come & help with set up and decorating at noon the same day. There will be games and activities for kids and a bonfire for adults. Bring your own beverages and a snack to pass. Flashlights are encouraged for all. Come join us for a local tradition!

Cooksville Lutheran Annual Harvest Dinner
Sunday, November 14, 12-3 p.m.
This is a Cooksville Lutheran Church event. A home cooked Thanksgiving meal will be served. Proceeds benefit the church.

Quarterly Community Center Board Meeting
Monday, December 13, 7 p.m.
Members of the Center are invited to attend the quarterly board meeting. Place to be determined.

Quarterly Community Center Board Meeting
Monday, March 8, 2011, 7 p.m.
Members of the Center are invited to attend the quarterly board meeting. Place to be determined.

Email Addresses: In the interest of saving postage and printing costs for the center and keeping CCC members informed, we would like to send you the CCC calendar as well as updates and reminders by email in the future. If you are willing, please send your email address to Jennifer Ehle at

Changes and updates to the Calendar of Events will be posted at the Cooksville Store as well as on the Town of Porter website which is We are trying to schedule another bagpipe demonstration by the Shriners Pipe & Drum Corps. Stay tuned. Check out for pictures and stories.

The Community Center Building is available for rent throughout the summer and fall for graduation parties, baby/bridal showers, dinners, family events and meetings. The building is air conditioned. Contact Bill Zimmerman 873-1652 or 608-628-8566 for rates and reservations.

The Center has note cards, Cooksville guidebooks, ceramic mugs and plates for sale, which will be available for purchase during Center events.

Please phone a board member with questions regarding events or programs.
Support your local community center
by attending program events and the Annual Meeting.

Store Cats

The Cooksville Store cat had kittens about 4 weeks ago. They are getting cuter by the minute. They came to visit Thelma yesterday at the Degner's. It made her smile.

There is a collection cup at the store for a spaying/neutering fund for the cats. The vet in Stoughton can do it for $10 per cat through a county program.

Anyone looking for a sweet kitty? They'll need homes soon when Momma decides she's had enough and weans them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Renting the Cooksville Community Center

Did you know that the Cooksville Community Center is available for rent? It works well for parties, baby or wedding showers, family gatherings and even wedding receptions with a tent on the Commons. The center has 2 bathrooms, chairs, tables, a refrigerator, stove, and running water (cold only).

Here are the rates:
$75 for less than 50 people
$150 for more than 50 people
$150 for less than 50 people
$200 for more than 50 people

A refundable deposit of $100 is due at the time the keys are issued. For more information contact Bill Zimmerman at 873-1652. Interested in membership? $25 buys you a lifetime membership in the Center.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chainsaw Carvings in Cooksville

Cooksville neighbor, Tom Weiss has been busy with his chainsaw. You can see some of his artwork outside his studio in Cooksville. Learn more at

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cooksville Store Celebration May 2, 2010

Cooksville General Store Has Plumbing after 163 years.
Historic store to celebrate addition of water and bathroom service on May 2

Historic Cooksville Trust, Inc., president Larry Reed, left, recently presented a check for $12,000 to Waucoma Masonic Lodge #90 secretary/treasurer Dave Sanner. The check represents a grant from the HCT for a major plumbing and interior renovation project which allows the store to upgrade its retail food sales capabilities. The Lodge owns the building, located on the north side of Cooksville. Much of Cooksville, including the 163 year-old general store, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Cooksville Community Center, Inc., and other local groups are sponsoring an Open House in celebration of the historic Cooksville General Store and to commemorate the addition of indoor plumbing and much-needed interior remodeling to the 163 year-old structure.

The event is set for May 2, 1 to 4 p.m,. at the store, located on State Road 138 on the north side of Cooksville. The celebration is co-sponsored by the Historic Cooksville Trust, Inc. (HCT), and Waucoma Masonic Lodge #90 of Cooksville. There will be musical entertainment provided by The OK Band, comprised of Stoughton area musicians. There will also be tours of the store and the second floor Lodge. Light refreshments will be available. At 2:30 there will be a short ceremony to mark the day.

Cooksville Community Center, Inc., president, Carl Franseen, said the May 2 event will highlight the village’s commitment to historic preservation in this unincorporated community of about 75 residents located in northwest Rock County.

“This is a great opportunity for Cooksville to show how we work together to get things done here,” said Franseen, who is also a member of the HCT. “We’re a close-knit community with a common goal of ensuring that our historic and architectural heritage is preserved. This project at the store is just one example of how we’ve pulled together to make something happen.”

Much of Cooksville, including the general store, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more than seven years, the store has not been allowed to sell perishable food because there was no indoor plumbing to provide a means for store employees to wash their hands. The store can now sell perishable food, including dairy products and other packaged, refrigerated and frozen food.

A new bathroom was added to the southwest corner of the building. Water service was also added to the second story of the building, which is owned by the Waucoma Lodge. The lower-level store is leased by Mark Hoppe, a Cooksville area businessman. The Masons meet monthly on the second floor.

Funding for the project – which totaled about $13,000 - was provided by a grant from the HCT. Hoppe is a major supporter of the Trust and the community of Cooksville. The Masons also provided funding for the project, which utilized two Evansville contractors, Magee Construction and Hurst Plumbing. Magee donated part of his work to the project, which was completed in late February.

The Historic Cooksville Trust grants program is designed to assist the preservation of Cooksville’s heritage. The availability and amount of grants from the Trust depends on the donations of Cooksville residents and friends as well as the Trust, which is a 501©3 organization.

The Cooksville General Store has a record of over 160 years as a fixture in the village— and it may be the oldest general store still in operation in Wisconsin.

The present store dates from about 1847, one year before Wisconsin became a state. In that year, Charles Smith acquired from John Cook, founder of the village, a corner of a corner lot, 26 feet by 66 feet, at Main and Spring streets, its present location. Smith's relatives were carpenters, and, according to local historian Larry Reed, “it can be assumed that a frame building was put up in short order.”

Yankees, often from Vermont, like Earle Woodbury, operated the Store in the early years. In 1864, the store building itself (which often had different owners than the business within) was sold to the second floor tenant, Waucoma Lodge No. 90. The Lodge had been chartered in 1858 and had been leasing the second floor of the building from Woodbury since January of 1859. Thus began the long association of the Lodge with the Store.

According to Reed, old diaries provide some details of the Store’s business dealings—purchases of raisins, cream of tartar, a barrel of Spitzenberg apples, 50 pounds of flour, and delivery to the store of 19 ½ pounds of cheese—and records of luxury goods for those times such a shipment of oysters in November 1872, most probably destined for an oyster supper at the Lodge (oysters were actually a frequent component of a special supper), and in June 1874 the arrival of rare lemons.

The Masons continued to make improvements to the building, and the General Store owner improved the looks of the Store. In 1879 shutter blinds were hung on the building’s windows, and the Masonic hall on the second floor acquired new chairs, hanging lamps, carpets, and wallpaper. In 1882 the large glass front windows were installed and new paint was applied. The “store looks very nobby,” reported the Evansville Review at the time.

In 1890 the Masons bought 18 feet of land west of the building and built an 18x24-foot addition to the store building

The Cooksville General Store was, like most early stores, a basic dry goods, grocery and produce store. In the early days there were cracker and pickle and flour barrels, and cookies and tea in bulk tins. At times, the Store also included fuels and building materials and hardware. Eventually, the store sold such widely assorted things as Cornish game hens, lag bolts, washpans, clothesline, bone-meal, garden seeds, drill bits, underwear, anchovies, overshoes, lamp chimneys, paint, tobacco cloth, and kitchen utensils, as well as dairy and meat products and hot sandwiches and newspapers.

The position of Postmaster was traditional with storekeepers in Cooksville, and the General Store was the last post office before it moved to Evansville in 1903.

The Store survived the 20th century, and even though that most famous of country store institutions, the hot stove league, was weakened by many factors of modern life such as television it was still there as the 20th century progressed.

The Store has been a clearing-house for local information, written and oral, and provided such services for the community as receiving and mailing packages, charging goods to personal accounts and serving as a place to turn to for minor emergency assistance. And it still is the home of the Masonic Lodge on the second floor.

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, having been in business in the same location since the mid-nineteenth century, the Cooksville General Store has, according to some historians, achieved the status as the oldest operating general store in Wisconsin.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cooksville's Beginning

Cooksville consists of 2 villages: Cooksville platted in 1842 and Waucoma platted in 1846. John and Daniel Cook settled here in 1840, establishing Cooksville on the Badfish Creek, where a sawmill was soon constructed. Dr. John Porter of Massachusetts laid out Waucoma east of Cooksville. The two villages were settled by people from New England, New York, the British Isles, and later, Norway. But the village, known as Cooksville because of the post office’s location, was by-passed by the railroads in the 1860’s, becoming “the town that time forgot.”