graphicThe land where the Rum River joins with the Mississippi was originally home to the Dakota, who were pushed further west by the Ojibwa in the early 1800's. The word Anoka is related to the Dakota word A-NO-KA-TAN-HAN (meaning "on both sides of the river") and the Ojibwa word ON-O-KAY (meaning "working waters.") The first European settler, Joseph Belanger, built a log cabin and trading post near the mouth of the Rum River in 1844.
The area's first industry was logging. After building a dam on the Rum River in 1853, pioneers established sawmills, flour mills, and factories. Despite its proximity to water, the early City of Anoka had an unfortunate habit of burning down. Five major fires between 1855 and 1884 kept the construction industry busy rebuilding.
Anoka County's sandy soil made it a leading center of potato production before the Red River Valley opened up. Today, we simultaneously manage to help the rapid development of the Twin Cities while staying close to our agricultural roots by growing more sod than any other county in the nation.


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