TBA, but for now here will be some of the main catagories covered here:
STREETS (& HIGHWAYS): See sub-page at the left.
WATER SUPPLY: See sub-page at the left.
Streets & Highways
Here I will attempt to show how the streets of Brainerd were added, beyond the original 1871 plat as the town grew, and how some of the names changed, or disappeared, being absorbed as extensions of larger connecting streets.
Further, I will try to get a handle on how the state and county highway systems merged in to and through the city over the years. This will be at the bottom of this section, under HIGHWAY INTERCONNECTS.
-NORTHEAST BRAINERD: This one is all willy-nilly, but here is a start!
In December 1923, the Brainerd City Council took on the task of
renaming the streets in Northeast Brainerd. To clarify Northeast
Brainerd, that designation applies only to streets in what was
considered East Brainerd. Beginning with Kindred Street and
following with all streets north that run east and west, letters of
the alphabet were to be used. I might add that this system was
objected to by the local postmaster.
A-Kindred became “A” Street (now/2008 E. Washington St.),
B-Farrar “B” Street,
C-Forsythe “C” Street,
D-Pine “D” Street,
E-Prescott and Oak “E”,
F-Myrtle and Maple “F”,
G-Pear and Elm “G”,
I-Rosabel and Pascal “I”,
J-Kinsey and Firman “J”,
M-Schwartz and Woodward “M”,
-(Crow Wing County Historical Society Newsletter, March 1999,
Lost in the Shuffle, Lucille Kirkeby)
-ORIGINAL PLAT: Generally speaking, is based on the Philadelphia System (?), streets alphabetically (named after trees) east-west, and numerically north-south. Avenues were used N-S in NE Brainerd only.
-SOUTHEAST BRAINERD: All E-W streets were extensions of their original counterparts, but were all labeled "East", such as East Laurel Street. These streets were also not lined up exactly, their extensions being being a bit south. The 1883 map shows East Laurel to East Rosewood. N-S streets south on Oak St. are numeric, and those north of it are named after persons easterly from Towne to Yardley Sts..
SOUTHWEST BRAINERD (not to be confused with present-day SW, on the west side of the river):
-BLUFF AVENUE: Originally started at NW Ivy St, going north on what is now NW 1st. St., past the hospital, all along present Bluff Ave., then south (now called 10th.) to Terrace clear to at least Laurel St. Presently, it is only labeled Bluff on the described east/west route. It was ALL called Bluff because its ENTIRE length was overlooking a bluff. Technically, the "bluff" at its SE start was the bluff of the "ravine", not the Mississippi.
-BROADWAY ST.: All of present 8th St., N & S, was originally called Broadway.
-KINDRED ST.: Now Washington St. E, it started at the ravine bridge, going west to __?__.
-MAIN ST: This is the present Washington St., but originally ran from the river east to the ravine, later merging with NE's east/west counterpart, Kindred St., after construction of the connecting bridge (see BRIDGES section). The name was changed to Washington St. in__?__. I can only assume that after the completion of the Washington St. bridge, west Brainerd's east/west run was immediately called the same.
-WATER ST.: Roughly what is now the street running down to the college bridge from the high school, starting at just south of 3rd. and Laurel Sts., then on to Boom Lake. On the 1883 map, it also shows it paralleling the Western RR line coming in to town from the south, ending at Norwood,, where it merged with Bluff Avenue. It's as if there were 2 Water Streets, yet neither were connected!
Volumes could be written on this subject, and I can see I'll need to enlist the help from someone on the street dept. or state highway dept. Below are the main entrance routes, and some questions:
-Entrance by Hwy. 371 through Baxter, east to combination of 210/371 to 6th.
-Entrance by Hwy. 25 to NE Brainerd at the mill.
-Entrance by Hwy. 371 in to S. 6th. This at one time I think veered east to 7th. since Slaughterhouse (Little Buffalo) Creek prevented traversing without a bridge. At 7th. by the bottling plant was a small bridge allowing crossing. Later (__?__) the creek at 6th.was culvert and land-filled.
-Entrance by Hwy. 25 to 18.
-Entrance by 13th. St.
-Entrance by Hwy. 18, to 8th. St, then 322 to 6th. [Thanks to Rick Skogen for finding a website that provided this info on the "shortest highway in the state":
[The following is taken from Steve Riner's wonderful site which can be found at]:
"From: (now business rte.) MN-371 To: MN-18 in Brainerd
Length: Less than 1, Region: EC
History: Authorized around 1959. Removed from trunk highway system in 2001
Comments: This may have been the shortest trunk highway. It was a one-block long connector between 371 (now Business 371) and the former route of 18 in Brainerd. At either end from its joining routes, it was marked "To 18" and "To 371", but was also signed as 322. This was turned back (along with TH-18 through Brainerd) after the TH-371 bypass was completed in late 2000."
I'm unclear as to how one entered the city in the early years from the east, from say Crosby, since the swamp (now just a pond south of the Brainerd Mall) was impassable, as was the Ravine (now The Fill). This is just a guess, but I will venture it was from 210 to COUNTY 25 south to 18, then west to 6th. It could also be to STATE 25 before the swamp.
-Entrance by Hwy. 210 to Washington St. Before the Wash. St. bridge was built, 210 somehow veered south to merge with Laurel St. Remnants of this highway pavement are still visible south of the tracks. Could the original west-to-east route have been from the Laurel St. bridge (over the river) as 210, across the OTHER, eastern Laurel St. bridge (over the Ravine), then south to 18, and somehow back to 210 East?
-Entrance by Hwy. 210.
CURBING, GRANITE: There was some on Front St. before they re-did it...where did it go? Some is still on 7th. St. S between Front & Laurel Sts., E side of street. There is also some left on the E side of 7th St. between Front & Laurel Sts.
From a different town:
Washington Avenue Loft District Streetscape
Location:Used for all curb along Washington Ave. between 14th St. and 18th St. and along 13th St.
Material & Size: Granite; straight segments: 6" wide x 1'-6" high x 8' long.
Manufacture: Recycled granite from city stockpiles, North Carolina Granite Corporation, Cold Spring Granite
Notes: All granite curbs will be salvaged and re-used to match the existing roadway granite curb conditions where possible, all other locations will use new granite curbs.
(Water Supply): -BREWERY WATER: