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.

The city has a per capita income of $21,367 with 4.7% of the total number of families and 6.8% of the total number of residents living below the poverty level.  Households in the city have an average income of $42,659 while families in the city have an average income of $55,311.

Among the city’s notable residents are Bill Tuttle, who became famous in the 1950s and 1960s not only as a major league baseball player but also because of his crusade again tobacco chewing; FOX News anchor Gretchen Carlson who is the 1989 Miss America; Trumpet player Larry Foyen who worked with Ray Charles and Maynard Ferguson; US Court of Appeals judge Herbert Funk Goodrich and US Olympic wrestler Brandon Paulson.


Those considering corporate relocation or employee relocation should consider Anoka as an option.  As of 2007 houses for sale and condominiums for sale have an average price of $229,353.  If you prefer to rent first while adjusting in Anoka then the average rental for houses is $695.

Majority of the housing units in Anoka are under mortgage.  Of the 3,065 houses under mortgage a total of 468 units have a second mortgage, 552 units are under home equity loans and 37 units are under both second mortgage and home equity loan.  A total of 722 houses are without a mortgage.

If you are a first time home buyer then you might want to avail of the first time home buyer’s certificate.  You are considered a first time home buyer if you have now owned a house within a three-year period.  With the certificate you may be able to buy a house at a lower interest rate or you can request for entry cost assistance provided you qualify.  However, you have to undergo the Home Stretch which is a four-night workshop to get the certificate.

Anoka residents who are first time home buyers can also avail of the mortgage loans with interest rates that are below the prevailing market rates through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

You can also avail of the Down Payment Assistance Program which provides deferred loans to first time home buyers.  If you are eligible under the program then you can get as much as $5,000 with zero interest reducing your monthly housing cost to almost 30 percent of your income.

If owning a house is a top priority then Anoka City’s housing programs will definitely be a big help and will influence your decision in relocating to Anoka and investing in Anoka real estate.



Here is a link to the City Of Anoka website:

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