Blaine, Minnesota

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Blaine, Minnesota is a city in Anoka and Ramsey counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The population was 44,942 at the 2000 census. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul urban area.

Interstate Highway 35W, U.S. Highway 10, and Minnesota State Trunk Highway 65 are three of the main arterial routes in the city.

Contents

History and culture

Until 1877 Blaine was part of the city of Anoka, Minnesota. Phillip Laddy, a native of Ireland, is recognized as the first settler in Blaine and settled near a lake that now bears his name, Laddie Lake, in 1862. Laddy died shortly after his arrival and his survivors moved on to Minneapolis. Another early settler was the Englishman George Townsend, who lived for a short time near what would today be Lever St. and 103rd Ave.

It was not until 1865 that Blaine’s first permanent resident, Green Chambers, settled on the old Townsend claim. Chambers was a former slave who moved north from Barren County, Kentucky, following the Civil War. In 1870 George Wall, Joseph Gagner, and soon others settled in the area and it began to grow.

In 1877 Blaine separated from Anoka and organized as a township of its own. That year the first election was held and Moses Ripley was elected as the first Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Ripley, who had come to Minnesota from Maine, persuaded his fellow board members to name the new Township in honor of James G. Blaine, a senator and three-time presidential candidate from Maine. By 1880 Blaine’s population had reached 128.

In 2008, a youth TV show, Local Edition with Devry Foss and Austin Gamst, from North Metro TV, started as a local edge-opinion show that covered Blaine like a newscast. Since 1998, Blaine has had North Metro TV News as well, which served Blaine and parts of the North Metro.

While many of the other communities in Anoka County experienced growth due to farming, Blaine’s sandy soil and abundant wetlands discouraged would-be farmers and it remained a prime hunting area. Blaine’s growth remained slow until after World War II when starter home developments began to spring up in the southern part of town and the community changed from a small rural town to a more suburban one. Blaine’s population has grown from 1,694 in 1950 to 20,640 in 1970 to an estimated 54,020 in 2005. For several years Blaine led the Twin Cities metro region in new home construction.[3]

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