Not much is known about the original start of the Cook Building Center but we have been told that the original yard was started by August Buboltz in the early 1900’s. The yard was then purchased by a corporation called Dower Lumber Company.
1927 – Dower Lumber was purchased by The Lampert Lumber Company. The Lampert Lumber Company operated 64 yards in the Minnesota and the Dakotas and in the early years approximately 40% of their sales was coal.
1935 – Ray Ronning moved to Cook and began working at Lampert Lumber, he later became the Manager
1969 – Lampert Lumber decided to close the yard in Cook and Ray Ronning purchased the yard with his son-in-law Dean Buchanan and began operating it as the Cook Building Center
1972 – Dean was a silent partner until 1972 when he quit his job with the United States Forest Service to become the manager.
1972 – In the summer of 1972 the Littlefork River, which is adjacent to the lumberyard flooded with a 100 year flood level and the inside of the office area had 4” of water in it. Some inventory was lost down the river but the buildings withstood the flood and business continued.
1982 – Greg Burckhardt became the manager of the building center, he began working with Dean in 1976. By this time the focus of the products changed. They no longer were selling coal and the product mix was more for recreational homes because of the proximity to Lake Vermilion.
1991 – Greg & Ellen Burckhardt purchase the building center from Dean.
2007 – With the employee count going up and the business environment changing plans and construction on a new store started on an adjacent lot in order to increase the size of the showroom and develop more office space.
2008 – Cook Building Center moved into their new building of 4,608 sq ft. Business continued to grow and so did the employees up to 9 full time and 2-3 seasonal. In
2011 – Eric Burckhardt, who moved to back to Cook in 2005 purchased the Cook Building Center and continues to run it to this day.