How well do you know Brooklyn Park? See if you know any of these facts about the sixth largest city in Minnesota.
Brooklyn Park has Michigan roots
"Fourteen families came here from Adrian, Michigan," said local historian Darryl Sannes. "There was a town 20 miles from Adrian named Brooklyn. They liked the name Brooklyn better than Adrian, so the town was named Brooklyn."
Brooklyn settlers came into the area in 1853, but the town wasn't incorporated until 1858. In 1911, Brooklyn Center became a city. Other "cities" in the Brooklyn Township had their own post offices and general stores.
"For Industriana, Warwick, and Harrisburg, there are no reminants of it," said Sannes. "The closest thing is a house on West River Road that was a general store and post office."
Industriana was located near where the Regal Theatre is today. It thrived in the 1850-60s. The community of Warwick on present day West River Road was named after a Scottish immigrant and boasted a general store, post office and stagecoach stop. Harrisburg was near the 610 bridge over the Mississippi River and it had a hotel, sawmill and general store.
Putting the "Park" in Brooklyn Park
The "park" was added to Brooklyn Park's name in 1954 and the city continues to take the "park" part of it's name very seriously. The city boasts one of the largest park systems in the state.
"It was very intentional that a neighborhood park be within walking distance of every resident," said Jon Oyanagi, park and recreation director. From the 65 city parks to Three Rivers Park District parks to the Mississippi River recreation area, every Brooklyn Park resident lives within a half-mile or six blocks from some type of park.
"People can build that a sense of community, so having it accessible and everyone can drive there affords everyone the opportunity to get to a park," said Oyanagi.
Above Par Golf Course
Edinburgh Golf Course isn't you're your average city green. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II and continuously ranks as a top course to play by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.
"This was kind of the first upscale public golf course when it opened in 1987. It was the forerunner of all public courses in Minnesota," said Don Berry, head golf professional at Edinburgh USA.
When the course opened, it was ranked as the second best new course in the country. Then, in 1990 the LPGA played for seven years and put the course in the national spotlight. Berry says people remember Edinburgh.
"They read magazines, and when they come in from out of town they say I'm going to play there. So we're highly thought of throughout the country," said Berry.
Because of the warm weather, Edinburgh is having a banner year in its 25th year. The course is set to host the Minnesota State Open next year, the largest tournament of its kind in the state.
Garrison Keillor Lived Here
The man Minnesotans love to claim, Garrison Keillor, grew up in Brooklyn Park and has written that the qualities of Lake Woebegon stem from his boyhood home of Brooklyn Park.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Thursday, June 14, 2012