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Bordering Minneapolis on its southern border, Fridley, Minnesota is an inner-ring suburb of the Twin Cities. Situated in southern Anoka County, neighboring suburbs include Columbia Heights and Brooklyn Center. Fridley was incorporated as a village in 1949, and became a city in 1957. The area was settled in 1844, when the Red River Ox Cart Trail was constructed, leading through the Minnesota Territory from Saint Paul to Pembina, a trail that roughly corresponds with County Highway 1, a route that was then used to carry furs to the south and other supplies to the Red River Valley in the north. The first settler in the area was John Banfill, who came in 1847. The area was first known as Manomin. In 1851, Banfill platted the town of Manomin, which included the current municipalities of Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, and Spring Lake Park. By 1853, the new town had a post office, a general store, and a sawmill. In 1855, Abram M. Fridley, the city’s namesake, was elected as the first territorial representative for the area. In 1857, the area separated from Ramsey County, establishing the short-lived Manomin County. By 1870, Manomin County was annexed by Anoka County, and became Manomin Township. In 1879, Manomin Township’s name was changed to honor Abram Fridley, and Fridley was incorporated as a village in 1949, becoming a city in 1957. Interstate Highway 694, Minnesota Highways 47 and 65 are the main routes through the city, while East River Road is one of the oldest roads in Minnesota, once being part of the Red River Oxcart Trail. Fridley Station is served by the Northstar Commuter Rail, which runs on the BNSF Railway tracks into Minneapolis. The BNSF Northtown Classification Yards are in Fridley, and the Minnesota Commercial Railway serves the city, with a terminal warehouse situated in Fridley. The Mississippi River is navigable for small boats. Fridley has experienced slight drops in population each census year since its peak population of 30,228 in 1980.


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