- Boards & Commissions
- Blaine Historical Society
- Blaine's History
Until 1877, Blaine was considered to be part of the City of Anoka, Minnesota. Phillip Laddy, a native of Ireland, is recognized as the first settler in Blaine. He settled near the lake that now bears his name, Laddie Lake, in 1862. Laddy died shortly after his arrival and his survivors moved on to Minneapolis. He was followed by Englishman George Townsend, who lived for a short time in the area of Lever Street and 103rd Avenue.
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 Barron County, Kentucky, following the Civil War. In 1870, George Wall, Joseph Gagner, and some 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 the year 1880, Blaine's population had reached 128.
While many of the other communities in Anoka County experienced growth due to farming, Blaine's sandy soils 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.
Blaine's population went from 1,694 in 1950 to 20,640 in 1970. As the Minneapolis/St. Paul area began to enjoy rapid growth, Blaine's wide-open spaces became attractive to many people looking for the suburban life style just a short distance from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.
With the development of Interstate 35-W, State Highway 65, and State Highway 10, Blaine's accessibility to the Twin Cities was greatly improved. Because of this, Blaine has become a very attractive location for business and residential development. The estimated population for Blaine in 2002 is over 50,740 people. Blaine has attracted many new corporate residents, such as the Aveda Corporation and Dayton Rogers Manufacturing. Blaine is also home to the National Sports Center, an Olympic class training facility, as well as home to a Tournament Players Club golf course.