Brainerd Minnesota is a city
located at the geographical center of the state of
Minnesota. In 1870, Brainerd began its
life as a small railroad town. Brainerd was first
called, “The Crossing.” Then the owner of the
railroad named it after his wife, Anne Eliza
In 1872, Brainerd, Minnesota
was a wild and wooly town by all accounts.
Gunfights, hangings, and gambling were the standard
for the day. The largest percentage of new residents
were unmarried men who made their homes at the local
boarding houses and frequented the saloons in the
area. In those days, one could buy a 10-room house
and lot complete with bathroom, cellars, furniture,
stove, chickens, and pigs for around $700.
Brainerd, Minnesota was once a
dense pine forest that served the Chippewa Indians
as their hunting grounds and blueberry fields. White
men first saw the spot on Christmas Day in 1805,
when Lt. Zebulon Pike camped here on his trip up the
Mississippi River to find its source. There was one
incident in July 1872 that demonstrated unrest
between Native Americans and this wild bunch. Troops
were called to Brainerd, Minnesota as Indians
approached the town, however, they were only coming
to sell blueberries and the incident has gone down
in Brainerd history as the “Blueberry War.”
1881 was the biggest boom
Brainerd, Minnesota has known. The railroad went
under new management and organization. The railroad
shops were enlarged and thousands of newcomers
crowded the streets and walks. The great lumber
industry came in the 1880’s, but was gone by 1905.
The stands of Norway and white pine that had seemed
inexhaustible had all been cut away and the
lumberjacks moved on to other forests.
Interest in ore deposits began
in 1903, however locals were skeptical about the ore
industry and few invested. The miners were a new
breed of animal to Brainerd and the residents looked
upon them with suspicion. But the coming of the
mining industry was one of the biggest things that
ever happened to Brainerd and Crow Wing County. New
towns and cities sprang up all over the area
including Crosby and Ironton.
A concrete storage tank that
stands in the center of the Brainerd was the first
of its kind built in the United States. This tank,
known as the Brainerd Water Tower, is no longer in
use but has long been considered a Brainerd
Brainerd, Minnesota stands at
the gateway to the state’s summer playground and the
resort industry began to grow after World War I.
People began flocking to the Brainerd Lakes Area
with the arrival of better transportation, better
roads, more money and time to spend in leisure-time
Brainerd’s future, like its
past, is intertwined with its natural resources.
Within a 25-mile radius of
Brainerd there are 464 sandy-shored lakes on which
are located several hundred resorts, plus many miles
of navigable scenic Mississippi River headwaters.
Game fish of many species abound and there is a fine
population of wild game. There are numerous golf
courses, state parks, Brainerd International
Raceway, and many area attractions. Summer
vacationing, recreation, and touring constitute the
largest growing industry in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
While your enjoying a Kavanaugh's
resort vacation make sure to visit Brainerd and it's many