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'A definite "oops": Anoka County township's planned centennial celebration 38 years too late

ST. PAUL- Consider any parade that might have accompanied Linwood Township's 2012 centennial celebration as officially rained on. Planning was in the works to celebrate the monumental anniversary when a city employee discovered the northern towns...

ST. PAUL- Consider any parade that might have accompanied Linwood Township's 2012 centennial celebration as officially rained on.

Planning was in the works to celebrate the monumental anniversary when a city employee discovered the northern township actually had missed its 100th birthday by nearly four decades, said Judy Hanna, the township clerk.

The township, it turns out, was actually founded in 1874.

"It was a definite 'oops,'" Hanna said.

The mixed-up date came from a comment made by a township official last spring, Hanna said.

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During a conversation about the township's annual Family Fun Day, he mentioned that a plaque hanging in the town hall listed Linwood's first supervisor as taking office in 1912, meaning the township was coming up on 100. Hanna -- the coordinator of the summer event -- went into planning mode.

"We talked about selling T-shirts, having a quilt made by a number of our local quilters, inviting as many dignitaries as we could, perhaps spending a little bit more on fireworks....Now I guess we don't need to do anything," Hanna said. She added that fliers were even sent out to invite residents to a Jan. 9 planning meeting.

The city learned about its very belated birthday plans after Hanna contacted the Anoka County Historical Society to see if anyone could offer advice about how to properly commemorate the big day.

"I knew something about that date didn't seem right," said Todd Mahon, historical society executive director.

After a records search, Mahon discovered that Linwood broke off from Bethel and Columbus in 1874 and formed its own township.

"They missed it by a fair shot...but now they have more time to plan for the next one," Mahon said.

Linwood will celebrate its 150th celebration in 2024.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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