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Our history

Finally learn what’s up with Brooklyn Park versus Brooklyn Center!

Pre-European settlement

Before European settlement, the Dakota people populated much of Minnesota. Later, as settlement along the east coast increased, the Anishinaabe people (also know as Ojibwe, anglicized to Chippewa) were pushed westward into northern Minnesota as well.

Learn more about Native Lands

Historical events

  • 1849 – Minnesota Territory formed
  • 1854 – First school established in Brooklyn Township
  • 1858 – Minnesota becomes 32nd state, Brooklyn Township officers elected
  • 1941 – Planning Commission formed
  • 1954 – Incorporation as a village (population 3,868)
  • 1966 – Council/Manager form of government
  • 1969 – Brooklyn Park becomes a charter city

Beginnings of Brooklyn Park

What is now Brooklyn Park was part of the Missouri Territory in the early 19th century, under a treaty agreement with the Dakota people. The early pioneers began settling the territory in 1852, after the federal government opened the area to settlers.

Early in 1852, a territorial legislature passed a law that organized Hennepin County and in 1852, Brooklyn Township became reality.

The City was very different back then. There were no roads, only trails made by earlier Ojibwe people who lived in the area.

Washington Getchell and his son Winslow were among the settlers who staked claim to what is now called Getchell Prairie in the southern part of the township.

Ezra Hanscom, a native of Maine, built his home near the Getchell family in 1852. Hanscom’s house was the site of the first town meeting on May 11, 1858, when the Township elected officers

In late 1853 and early 1854 settlers from Michigan officially named the area Brooklyn Township, after their home territory of Brooklyn, Michigan.

Brooklyn Township was originally an area larger than what is now Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center today. In 1860, two tiers of sections were cutoff in the south, forming the towns of Brooklyn Center and Crystal Lake. What was left was known as Brooklyn Township and ultimately, Brooklyn Park.

More historical information

For more detailed information about the history of our community, visit the Brooklyn Historical Society website or call them at 763-536-0842.

Visit the Brooklyn Park Historical Society