The Story of Blaine
Dakota and Ojibwe hunted on the land that later became Blaine long before settlers appeared. In 1847, a government land survey crew led by Deputy Surveyor Andrew Hewett, measured the perimeters of the township, "by slogging through swamp and thicket and over dunes". In his report Hewett concluded, "The township is almost inaccessible for either man or beasts except when frozen up."
In the 1850's, speculators began acquiring land by hiring squatters with the idea of turning over ownership in the form of land patents to the speculators, who by all accounts, never lived there. However one individual, Andrew More, who purchased land in 1855, most likely lived in the township. His name appears in the 1857 census, making him the possibly the first settler.
The first permanent settler was most likely Phillip Leddy, whose name was misspelled in early historical sources as Laddy. Leddy purchased land in 1857 and 1859 near what was later called Laddie Lake, presumably named for him. He farmed there from about 1862 until his death in 1872. Leddy's wife Bridget and three of their seven daughters, continued to live on the farm until at least 1875. They then moved to Minneapolis.
The township was officially organized in 1877. Moses Ripley was elected as the first chairman of the Board of Supervisors. According to local lore 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 U.S. Senator and statesman, also from Maine. In 1880, Blaine Township had a population of 128.
Dairy farms dominated the landscape in Blaine well into the 20th century. After World War II, with the severe housing shortage created by returning servicemen and their growing families, starter home developments began to spring up in southern and eastern Blaine. In 1950 the population reached 1,694. Dairy farms gave way to vegetable and sod farms and later were sold to housing developers.
The development of Interstate 35W and Highway 10 and Highway 65 created greater accessibility to the Twin Cities. The National Sports Center was constructed in 1990 and the TPC of the Twin Cities was completed in 2000. By 2021, more then 170 years after Hewett's survey, Blaine's population topped 70,000, making it the largest city in Anoka County and the 10th largest in Minnesota.
Information compiled by the Blaine Historical Society