Anoka Homes & Real Estate



If you want to trace the beginnings of Halloween then Anoka City in Minnesota would definitely part of your research. This city in Anoka County considers itself the Halloween Capital of the World. True to its reputation, Anoka City celebrates Halloween annually with a bang and a parade ever since 1920 (except for two years during World War II) when it hosted the first Halloween parade not for anything else but to stop Halloween pranks. In 1920, Anoka’s citizens and business sector joined hands and held a grand Halloween Party where children were treated to free candy and entertainment. 

Anoka is also known as the site of the Anoka-Champlin Mississippi River Bridge which is included in the list of the National Register of Historic Places. The 10-span arch bridge which spans between Champlin and Anoka, was built by the Minnesota Bridge Company in 1929. 

Also called the Ferry Street Bridge, this Anoka City landmark was renovated in 1991 and completed in 1998. The renovation however considered the historical status of the bridge and the original concrete railings as well as the other parts have been duplicated. 


The fist immigrants to Anoka settled in the area in 1844 but it was not until the 1850s when a town has been established complete with a flour mill, a store and school to serve the residents. Joseph Belanger is considered the first settler in the area. He built a log cabin near the mouth of the Rum River and this was used as a trading post and later on as a temporary abode for temporary settlers in the area. The city’s name came from the Indian words Anokatanhan which means “on both sides” and Onokay which means “working waters”. In 1878, the City of Anoka was formally incorporated. 

Twenty two year old Bjorn Skogquist, who was elected mayor of Anoka City in 2000 and then again in 2002, 2004 and 2006, is considered Minnesota’s youngest Mayor ever. He is known for encouraging young people to get involved in civil society and in campaigning for historic housing protection, code reform and open government. 

The Rum River plays a great role in Anoka’s history particularly when the first logging operations in the area started in the late 1840s. The logs from Anoka area were transported to the St. Anthony sawmill by floating them through the Rum River and onto the Mississippi River. The first sawmill in the area started operations in 1854 and from then on other industries like wood working plants and those related to milling sprouted along the banks of the River Rum. 

It was in the late 1885 when the sawmill industry in Anoka declined. However, this was also the start of the establishment of other industries including a potato starch factory and the Anoka Show Factory. Both businesses provided employment opportunities for the settlers. 

The establishment of a ferry in 1856, which was the precursor of the Ferry Street Bridge, connected Anoka to the City of Champlin. The ferry served as the major means of transportation between Anoka and Champlin for 28 years until it was replaced by a steel bridge in 1884. This same bridge, which opens up to allow the passing of boats, remains a historical landmark in Anoka. 

Community Profile 

Anoka City has a population of 18,076 people distributed among 7,262 households as of the 2000 Census. Majority of the residents are Whites (93.15%) followed by African Americans (2.47%), Native Americans (1.05%), Asians (.093%) and those from other races. 

The population of Anoka is fairly young with an average age of 34 years old. Of the total population, 24.6% are below 18 years old while 11.6% are 65 years old or older. 

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Anoka, MN
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Ramsey, MN
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