Population (2010)

30,104

Introduction

Brooklyn Center has a longer history as a village than its neighbor, Brooklyn Park, but it is smaller and experienced most of its population growth in the 1950s (jumping from 4,200 residents in 1950 to 24,000 just ten years later). Like its neighbor, though, Brooklyn Center has become increasingly diverse in the past generation as more African Americans and Hmong from Southeast Asia have moved into city.

Visitor Information

Direct your questions to the North Hennepin Are Chamber of Commerce (763.424.6744).

History

The village was incorporated in 1911, basically to short-circuit annexation by its neighbor, Minneapolis, even though the area was mostly farmland at that time. Brooklyn Center was first settled by folks who came from New England, followed by immigrants from Scandinavia.

Mississippi River at Brooklyn Center

Mississippi River at Brooklyn Center

Much of the land that is now the City of Brooklyn Center was once owned by Earle Brown, a man of many interests. Brown, known for his love of Belgian horses, bought a farm in 1901 from his grandfather and went on to become one of the wealthiest farmers in the region. He also served as sheriff during Prohibition and was none too eager to crack down on bootlegging. During World War I, Brown volunteered use of his land for pilot training and, in 1929, established a training college that led to the creation of the Minnesota Highway Patrol. The core part of his estate was preserved and is now a conference center.

Exploring the Area

The Mississippi National River and Recreation (651.290.4160) runs for 72 miles through the Twin Cities. While the National Park Service owns very little land along the corridor, it has many programs to help connect people to the river. Visit their website for a complete listing of places to enjoy the river.

Parks Along the Mississippi River

  • North Mississippi Regional Park (4900 N. Mississippi Dr.)

Tours

Get a close look at how craft beer is brewed at the Surly Brewery (4811 Dusharme Dr.). Tours are free, but check their website to verify when they are offered and to register in advance. Each tour includes a free sample for adults 21 years old and older.

Entertainment and Events

Festivals

Celebrate Brooklyn Center and the legacy of its most prominent citizen of the past by attending Earle Brown Days in mid-June. Events include a kids’ fishing tournament, a golf tournament for seniors, live music, and a parade.

**Looking for more places in Minnesota? Check out Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the link above for more information. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Where to Go Next

See the Twin Cities Overview for tips on festivals, getting around, and more.

Continuing downriver? Check out the Minneapolis guide.

Continuing upriver? Check out Brooklyn Park.

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If you like the content at the Mississippi Valley Traveler, please consider showing your support by making a one-time contribution or by subscribing through Patreon. Book sales don’t fully cover my costs, and I don’t have deep corporate pockets bankrolling my work. I’m a freelance writer bringing you stories about life along the Mississippi River. I need your help to keep this going. Every dollar you contribute makes it possible for me to continue sharing stories about America’s Greatest River!

©Dean Klinkenberg, 2013