Pope County: Cyrus

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Driving "thru" Cyrus Minnesota
I take a short drive "thru" Cyrus going to Starbuck from Morris. Cyrus is in the western edge of Pope County as it borders the eastern edge of Stevens County. College students (from the University of Minnesota-Morris) that drive "thru" this small town of 300+ compete in holding their breath from one end to the other end of town-that is how small main street is! The background music you "somewhat" hear is Point of Grace's "Great Divide"

Welcome to my (Sal) personal site of my neighboring town-Cryus, Minnesota! I'm actually only about 7 minutes west of this small town of 300+. I drive through this town almost at least eight (twice a week at least when I drive a small bus for my job!) times every month. I make monthly trips to St.Paul visiting family-friends, so I come through here a lot. I jokingly try to play a game with whoever I ride with on how many people we can see each time we go through here.

Featured Event

# Cozy Cafe featured on ˜Bizarre Foods" program March 25 Morris Sun Tribune Published Saturday, March 08, 2008
" "Andrew Zimmerman's visit to Cyrus to taste the Cozy Cafe lutefisk will be featured on the host of the Travel Channel program, "Bizarre Foods" on March 25. Zimmern were at the Cozy on Sept. 15, 2007, for his first taste of the Scandinavian fish dish and other Scandy foods. Zimmern and a production crew spent several hours in Cyrus filming at the Cozy Cafe. That site was chosen after being listed on the Internet as a Friend of Lutefisk due in part to the regular serving of the Norwegian specialty. For times, see upcoming listings at"

Today (Saturday, September 15th of 2007), Cyrus got itself in the map...

Over 300 served during taping of 'Bizarre Foods' at Cozy Cafe
Morris Sun Tribune Published Saturday, September 15, 2007
" Over 300 people particated in a Scandinavian Celebration of Heritage in Cyrus on Saturday, as the host of the Travel Channel show, "Bizarre Foods" gets his first taste of lutefisk.
Andrew Zimmern, a food connoisseur on the Travel Channel, has tasted many unique and even rare foods. “If it looks good, eat it!” is one of his famous remarks. RELATED CONTENT
Morris Sun Tribune Photo Gallery Icon Photo gallery: Bizarre Foods in Cyrus
As the host of the show, Andrew visits local markets, restaurants and kitchens around the world, discovering some of the most unusual foods on earth. He’s been to China, the Phillipines, Spain and now he’s been to the Cozy Cafe in Cyrus, where he tasted another bizarre food -- lutefisk.
Along with his lutefisk, the Cozy Cafe served a wide array of Scandinavian foods.
There's no word on when the segement about Cyrus might air.

Recommended Resources


  • Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA) PO Box 220, E Main Street Cyrus, MN 56323-0220 (320) 795-2569

  • "Trinity Lutheran Church of Cyrus was officially organized on October 16, 1968, although incorporation papers were not filed until November 1968 and its first joined worship service and congregational meeting were not until January 18, 1969. Trinity was formed by the merger of three older congregations -- St. Petri Free Lutheran (formed 1883), Scandia Free Lutheran (formed 1869), and Cyrus Lutheran (formed 1884 and joined by Scandia Lutheran (ELC) in 1953). From the time of its merger until December 1971, the people worshiped at two locations -- Trinity East (the former Cyrus Lutheran Church) and Trinity West (the former St. Petri Lutheran Church). In January of 1972, all worship services were moved to the Trinity East site and the former St. Petri Lutheran Church became a youth center and eventually a senior citizen center until it was dismantled in 1982."


  • City-Data

  • ' For population 25 years and over in Cyrus
    * High school or higher: 76.7%
    * Bachelor's degree or higher: 7.4%"


  • Cyrus Math and Science Technology School

  • Buy or Design Cyrus Math Science & Technology School Apparel & Gear!, from



  • Cozy Cafe Cuisine: Cafe 118 E Main St Cyrus, MN 56323 320-795-2900

  •, directions
    *featured at Bizarre Foods, in the Travel Channel
  • Bizarre Foods in Minnesota, from Andrew's blog

  • " Proving once again that the most bizarre foods and adventures are usually found right in your own back yard, I give you my whirlwind tour of my adopted home state, Minnesota. I could have shot an entire show in one day in the Twin Cities alone actually. Tongue tacos on Lake Street at Pineda Tacqueria, fish maw and spicy pig intestines at my favorite Chinese restaurant (Shuang Cheng, Little Szechuan and The Teahouse all rock these dishes), homemade head cheese at Kramarczuk's. I could go on and on.
    But instead I took my father-in-law's advice. He has insisted for years that I should check out the White Earth Re-Discovery Center and do some wild rice harvesting, so we did. The Center is where tribal elders pass on traditional skills to a generation that is removed from ancestral tribal life. The White Earth people believe that the Great Spirit brought them from the North Eastern United States to the North Western corner of our state to a place where the elders told me "the food will come from the water". Zizania Palustris is a plant native to the Upper Midwest lakes region. It's actually not rice, but a water-grass seed that is highly prized around the world for its singular nutty flavor. I spent the morning on the lake gliding in a canoe through the delicate shoots, knocking the seeds into the floor of the canoe while my partner poled us along. Some things to keep in mind: the shoots can be ripped out simply by tugging on them, many a lake has been stripped of its value by ignorant boaters and the act of knocking the seeds with long wooden sticks is purposely sloppy allowing much of the harvest to fall back into the lake for reseeding the rice bed. We cured the rice by letting it air dry, parched it over an open fire in a cast iron kettle by stirring it with a wooden paddle letting the stray grasses and outermost 'skin' harmlessly burn away. The raw rice takes on a smoky quality. The rest of the rice is jigged, or threshed, by dancing on the seeds until the skin separates completely and can be winnowed away by tossing the rice in the air, allowing the lighter than air chaff to simply blow away. We ate griddled yearling deer, the baked bannock bread and the rice were a real treat, and yes we ate all of the deer, the heart, and the liver, all of it. The strangest thing we ate that day was the sucker-head soup, a bland potage made with a repulsive lake fish renowned for its fatty and cartilaginous body. The heads are the prized resident of each diners bowl, you chew, you suck, you spit out bones. No one said this job was easy.
    The Minnesota State Fair offers up an environment that is rich with some of the world's strangest foods, and for me some delicious irony. The foods that I long for the most in between trips overseas are either being judged in the 4H animal buildings or born up at the Miracle of Birth complex. In Madrid, Casa Botin has built a world famous 300 year old reputation on roasting baby pigs, if I were running things there would be baby pigs, lambs and chicks coming out of wood burning ovens instead of sitting under heat lamps waiting for the unwashed hordes to snap their picture. Sounds tastier than a candy bar on a stick don't you think? I settled for an afternoon sharing corn dogs with my pal Marjorie Johnson, and sampling the good (wild game brats at Giggles, deep fried smelt), the bad (cola cheesecake, ostrich on a stick, spaghetti and meatballs on a stick) and the ugly (deep fried Spam nuggets). I have to say there seems to be a disturbing trend over the last 5 years or so to incorporate new foods to the Fair menu simply because someone can put it on a stick. Sloppy Joe on a stick was one of the worst foods I have ever eaten. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.
    I have lived in Minnesota for 16 years, and have never tried lutefisk, and since it is an iconic food for those of us who get easily bored with everyday fare, I thought it high time I saw how the stuff was made. I stopped by Ingebrestsen's on Lake Street to see who they get their stuff from, sampled some lamb jerky, some blood sausage, some creamed cod roe and armed with a few insights I ventured out to the Olsen Fish Company factory to see how perfectly good dried cod is ruined by well intentioned


    the world over. Well not really the world over since more lutefisk in consumed here than in Norway. At Olsen's they process more of the stuff than any other merchant on the planet, and they do the lion's share of their business at Christmas time. I have taken cod in about a half dozen countries and followed it through the salting and drying process and it was odd to see trucks unloading that same product onto the Olsen's back door, but there it was. The fish is re-hydrated in water and then in a water and lye solution, then finally with water again to rid the fish of the caustic acid. As the fish is exposed to the acid, its protein makeup changes and it not only swells and plumps to resemble its waterborne form but it changes its consistency, taking on its famous jelly like texture.
    I wanted to try lutefisk in its territory, which meant traveling to Cyrus, to the Cozy Café, a neighborhood diner that doubles as a senior center and puts on phenomenal suppers on weekends in the fall, with lutefisk as the star of the show. There are only about 200 residents in Cyrus, but about 400 turned out for the meal on the night we were there, and we stuffed ourselves on potato dumplings, Swedish meatballs, and all those amazing Norwegian sweets handmade by dozens of farm country grandmas. The lutefisk is poached, then served with butter or cream sauce, paired with plenty of rutabagas and potatoes, nary a fresh herb in sight and the food we ate at the Cozy Café has not changed much in the 150 years since Scandinavians ventured to the upper Midwest thanks to the states Homestead Acts of the mid nineteenth century. I can tell you that the stuff is way more palatable than its reputation suggests, but the slimy jello-ish texture is frightful when it's in your mouth. Anyone looking to enjoy great home cooked fare and take in a real slice of small town life should head to the Cozy Café and visit with Jean Anderson.
    We ate wild boar balls and all, at Lenny Russo's renowned Heartland restaurant, hunted for ruffed grouse with Shawn Perich on the shores of Lake Superior, headed out on the lake with Harley Tofte and netted herring for a shore lunch, and attended a meat raffle at a local bar. You get the picture... this is one of the shows that I most proud of. There’s no place like home.
    Posted by Andrew Zimmern on March 24, 2008 12:16 PM | Permalink "


  • Cyrus Official Site

  • Cyrus Days 2009 celebration this weekend Morris Sun Tribune Published Tuesday, June 09, 2009

  • "The community of Cyrus will celebrate its fifth annual Cyrus Days this weekend.
    The community celebration includes a medallion hunt this year. Clues are posted on the city’s Web site, and on the sign by the Fire Hall.
    The rest of the schedule begins Friday with city-wide garage sales throughout the day. At 7 p.m., a family fun night, including a family dance will be held at the Cyrus school. At dusk, there will be a fireworks display at the baseball field next to the school.
    Saturday’s schedule also starts with the city-wdie garage sales from 8 a.m. to noon. In case you skipped breakfast to get to the sales, there will be goodies served at Trinity Lutheran Church. There will also be a craft show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a car show from 9 a.m. to noon on Main Street. In case of bad weather, the craft show will be moved indoors at the Cyrus School.
    A parade will be held beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. Gordon and Rubye Alfson will serve as grand marshals for this year’s parade.
    Following that, a Senior dance will be held at the school.
    The Cyrus fire department will host water wars at 3 p.m.
    The day ends with a community supper, served at the Lariat from 5 to 9 p.m. and a street dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
    The three-day Cyrus Days celebration comes to a close on Sunday with a community church service at 10:30 a.m. on the grounds by the elementary school followed by a potluck at noon. "


  • Wikipedia

  • "As of the census2 of 2000, there were 303 people, 150 households, and 82 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,050.6 people per square mile (403.4/km²). There were 164 housing units at an average density of 568.6/sq mi (218.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.69% White, 0.33% Native American, 0.99% Asian, and 0.99% from two or more races."


    -Community Builder: Extraordinary Citizens Published January 28, 2012, 10:33 AM
    A community needs people who go above and beyond to help make it better. In this Community Builder, we worked to highlight some of the people from around Morris who are quietly making a difference.
    "MORRIS, Minn. - A community needs people who go above and beyond to help make it better. In this Community Builder, we worked to highlight some of the people from around Morris who are quietly making a difference.
    Bob Tirevold, Cyrus Police Chief: Keeping the community safe
    Rose Murphy, After Care Coordinator: Lending a compassionate ear
    Sal Monteagudo, Community Cheerleader/Activist: Mentoring across cultures
    LaVerne Swanson, Volunteer Extraordinaire: Volunteering everywhere she's needed"

  • Bob Tirevold, Cyrus Police Chief: Keeping the community safe Published January 28, 2012, 05:00 AM By: Kim Ukura, Morris Sun Tribune

  • Bob Tirevold’s career in the Air Force took him around the world. Family in Cyrus brought him back home after he retired. An active lifestyle and need to serve have kept him engaged in community life.
    "CYRUS, Minn. - Like many Americans, Cyrus-native Bob Tirevold was on his way to work when the World Trade Center was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike most people, Tirevold was working at U.S. Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon and found his workplace under attack too.
    “When the World Trade Center got hit we knew bad things were happening, and all the different operations centers were starting to stand up in the Pentagon,” said Tirevold.
    Going to catch up with his boss, Tirevold was just entering the Pentagon building when American Airlines Flight 77 hit at 9:37 a.m.
    “We just got off the shuttle bus in D.C. and were walking in the building,” Tirevold recalled. “It’s such a huge building, we didn’t feel anything, we didn’t hear anything. … The defense police came out and said ‘Evacuate! Evacuate the building!’ We went out and here’s this huge plume of smoke coming up over our shoulder.”
    When Tirevold made his way to work at six the next morning, the wooden rafter roof on the top of the Pentagon was still on fire. Tirevold said could see firemen with hoses spraying the roof as it was burning. The whole building – down to the basement operations center where Tirevold was working with Air Force security forces across the world prepare for war – smelled like smoke.
    “As you can imagine, it was pretty crazy,” said Tirevold. “They were still recovering bodies out of the damaged section. They were still trying to determine who was missing … and also preparing for war.”
    “It's better to just keep doing something”
    Tirevold's career with the Air Force spanned 19 moves over 30 years and took him from the Phillipines to Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom.
    One of his last assignments at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska – “Probably our best assignment, maybe because we’re Minnesotans” – helped Tirevold and his wife, Katrina, decide to move back to Minnesota in their retirement. They came back to Cyrus to be near family, Katrina’s parents, former University of Minnesota, Morris professor Ernie Kemble and his wife, Cathy, a retired teacher at Morris Area Elementary School.
    In his “retirement,” Tirevold has remained engaged in the community. He became a volunteer firefighter with the Cyrus Fire Department and helped get the Cyrus First Responders going again. In addition to work as a defense contract consultant, Tirevold serves as a part-time deputy for the Pope County Sheriff's Department, part time police officer in Starbuck, and, in 2011, was hired by the City of Cyrus to serve as their part-time police chief.
    “As you get to this stage in your life, you go, ‘If I quit, I’ll die,’” said Tirevold. “It’s better to just keep doing something and stay active. You might as well keep doing something you enjoy.”
    “Four years and get back out”
    Tirevold graduated from Cyrus High School in 1973, and lived in Cyrus until 1975. After graduation, Tirevold went to Willmar Community College where he received an Associate's degree in Law Enforcement.
    “I was trying to get a job as a cop, but the end of the Vietnam War had a lot of people on the streets,” said Tirevold. After driving truck for about 18 months, Tirevold decided he needed to go back to school for a bachelor’s degree.
    Two years later, Tirevold graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a BA in Criminology/Sociology. He was also commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, after completing Reserve Officer Training Crops (ROTC) training as a student.
    Part of the agreement with ROTC training is that graduates will serve four years in the Air Force before returning to civilian life. Tirevold's first assignment was as an operations officer with the 93th Security Police Squadron at Castle Air Force Base near Merced, Calif.
    Tirevold and his family moved frequently throughout his career. After two years in California, they moved to the Philippines, then Hawaii, then Washington D.C. (four times), the United Kingdom, Texas (three times), Saudi Arabia and Alaska.
    “I was going to do four years and get back out and come to Minnesota to be a cop, but they offered me another job and then another job and pretty soon here I am 30 years later with 19 moves to get back to Minnesota,” said Tirevold.
    “Back to the basics”
    After reaching the 30-year mark in the Air Force, Tirevold reached the organization’s mandatory retirement mark. His plan for life after the Air Force was to work as a consultant to defense contractors who like to “pick his brain” about Air Force security.
    Although Tirevold does still do consulting work, he was able to return to his first career aspiration – community law enforcement – after connecting with former Pope County Sheriff Tom Larson. Hearing about Tirevold’s background, Larson suggested he apply for a job as a part-time sheriff’s deputy with Pope County.
    Tirevold took the reciprocity test for a Minnesota Peace Officer’s license and started working for Pope County in August 2009.
    “It’s been a lot of fun,” says Tirevold. “It is kind of ‘back to the basics’ – as a deputy sheriff I do patrol and transport prisoners and do courthouse security and whatever else they need me to do. It’s all part time.”
    Last summer, after a shift in law enforcement leadership in Pope County, the former Cyrus police chief resigned. Tirevold says he felt like he had more he could give back to Cyrus, and was hired as police chief in Cyrus in July 2011.
    “First Responders are essential here”
    Since moving home, Tirevold has also worked to help reinvigorate both the Cyrus Fire Department and Cyrus First Responders.
    After hearing that the fire department was losing volunteers, Tirevold said he thought he could bring some of his disaster response experience to the department and help write grants or work on training for the volunteers.
    “One of the things that popped up there was that Cyrus’ First Responders had kind of fizzled,” said Tirevold. “For a variety of reasons, it had just kind of started to fade away.”
    Tirevold put out fliers to recruit volunteers, helped organize a class though Glacial Ridge Ambulance Service and got the organization going again almost three years ago. Cyrus now has 10 trained and supplied first responders and a vehicle to take to calls.
    “[First responders] are essential here,” said Tirevold. “Glacial Ridge has an ambulance in Glenwood and Starbuck, and Stevens County has one in Morris. We’re at least 10 minutes from an ambulance. If we can get there in five minutes, which is what usually happens … we can assist with those essential life saving first few minutes.”
    The first responders get 10 to 12 calls a year, and work to raise money through pancake breakfasts and other fundraisers to support training and equipment costs.
    “I’m glad that I can bring my experience to town”
    The Cyrus that Tirevold now patrols is a different city from the one he grew up in – fewer people, fewer businesses, and a need for a positive police presence.
    “It’s kind of surprising to me because when I grew up there wasn’t a cop,” said Tirevold. “Now I come back to and they actually have a cop in this little town.”
    Tirevold works 30 hours a month in Cyrus, is on call for emergencies and can answer any law enforcement questions for local residents. The most common complaint Tirevold said he receives is about speeding along Highway 28 through Cyrus. A new squad car, recently purchased from Hancock, provides more visibility in the community.
    “The basic thing is to provide a police presence here in town and respond to any particular calls that people have,” said Tirevold. “Every small town has their crime issues. There are some drugs, there’s some theft, there’s some vandalism. … My job is to provide that presence and help keep the peace in the town.
    “I’m kind of sad that they need a policeman or feel the need for a policeman, but I’m glad that I can bring my experience to town.”"



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