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A northern suburb of Minneapolis, the city of Coon Rapids is the thirteenth largest city in the state, and the largest city in Anoka County. Surrounding and nearby communities include Andover, Anoka, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Fridley, Ham Lake, Osseo, and Spring Lake Park. The history of Coon Rapids goes back to 1857, when Anoka Township was created, as Coon Rapids now retains the same boundaries of the former Anoka Township with the exception of the city of Anoka, which has been incorporated as a separate entity. When the federal government surveyed the area in 1847, the Red River Ox Cart Trail was a well traveled road running through Anoka County, one that had been laid out for military purposes in 1835. The first settlers in the area were involved in agriculture, with farms ranging from ninety to six hundred acres. In 1881, Dr. D.C. Dunham organized the first brick yard, which was located near the old City Hall, and was known as the Anoka Pressed Brick and Terra Cotta Company, the first non-agricultural industry in Coon Rapids. Much of the land upon which the current city is build was created with the construction of the Coon Rapids Dam, which was built in 1912 by the Mississippi Power Company. With the construction of the dam, Anoka Township became Coon Creek Rapids, which was later shortened to Coon Rapids when an attempt was made to incorporate the township as a village in 1948. Its incorporation was defeated, but eventually passed in 1952, and became a city in 1959.


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