The History and Culture of Blaine, MN

Posted by Kris Lindahl on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 10:51am.

Blaine Water Tower
Blaine, Minnesota is a very popular area found to the north of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. This community is home to about 50,000 residents and was once a part of the city of Anoka.

However, in 1877, the city of Blaine was formed and Phillip Laddy was known as the first settler in the area. Laddy was a native of Ireland and settled near the lake, which is now named after him (Laddie Lake). Laddy passed not long after arriving to the area and many of his survivors moved to Minneapolis.

George Townsend, an Englishman, was another early settler of Blaine, MN. He lived in the area where 103rd Avenue and Lever Street would be found today.

In 1865, Green Chambers settled in Blaine as the first permanent resident. He lived in the old Townsend claim and was a former slave originally from Barren County, Kentucky. He moved to Minnesota after the Civil War. Joseph Gagner and George Wall also settled in the area shortly after, around 1870.

Blaine decided to separate from Anoka in 1877 and become a township. Moses Ripley was the first elected Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and was elected in 1877. He persuaded the other board members to name the area after James G. Blaine. Blaine was a Republican senator and three-time presidential candidate from the home state of Ripley, which was Maine.

The community of Blaine, much like many others in Anoka County grew very fast due to farming. The population of Blaine grew to about 128 residents by 1880. Blaine wasn't as much of a farming area as surrounding areas because of the wetlands and sandy soil. However, these areas provided prime hunting, but the population growth remained slow.

Blaine did see home developments start after World War II, however. These developments started in the southern area of the town and Blaine was changed from a small town to a suburban one. The population went from 1,694 residents in 1950 to over 20,000 residents by 1970. For many years, Blaine was the leader for new construction in the Twin Cities metro area.

Image Credit: Wdfarmer at en.wikipedia

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