Blaine is a city in Anoka county in the State of Minnesota. The population was 57,186 at the 2010 census. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.
History and culture
Until 1877, Blaine was part of the city of Anoka, Minnesota. Phillip Lady, 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 Republican senator, Speaker of the House and three-time presidential candidate from Maine. By 1880, Blaine’s population had reached 128.
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 20,573 in 1970 to over 57,000 in 2010. For several years Blaine led the Twin Cities metro region in new home construction.
Blaine's growth could be attributed to the development of Interstate Highway 35W, U.S. Highway 10, and Minnesota Highway 65 which increased its accessibility to the Twin Cities making it an attractive location for business and residential development as many people call it home today. Furthermore the land development technique of sand mining opened thousands of acres of peat sod farms up for development. Beginning with the development of the Knoll Creek, Club West, Pleasure Creek and TPC Twin Cities, the existing land was modified through extensive grading efforts with the result in the large open water areas. The sand from the excavation of those ponds was used to raise the level of the site. These site modifications are needed to accommodate the development of the homes and neighborhoods. The success of mining sand aided increating ponds/lakes and allowed for further development in the city. The Center piece of those developments is The Lake of Blaine, taking over 1000 acres peat and sod farms and creating 158 acre Sunrise Lake and million dollar homes and other high end housing opportunities not seen in the city before. Corporate residents include the Aveda Corporation, MagnetStreet, parking lot portion of a Medtronic Development, and Dayton Rogers Manufacturing.
Blaine is also home to the National Sports Center featuring 50 soccer fields, a golf course, a velodrome, and the Schwan Super Rink, containing 4 Olympic and 4 regulation ice rinks in one building. Further development is occuring now that will bring another 20 fields for multiple uses including Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer and a host of other activities.