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Spotlight on Isanti

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Those of you who follow my blog know that I’ve been saying thank you to some great communities in the northern suburbs in and around the Twin Cities area for the last several months. Today, I want to add one more to that list. Because of a recent monster of a hail storm in Isanti on July 9th, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the area pushing out dents.

I truly appreciate the business. And, I’m finding myself kind of at home in Isanti. Besides the business, some of my family members live there. It turns out that my ancestors were among some pretty significant contributors in Isanti, but more about that later.

The basics:

Isanti’s population today comes in at slightly over 6300. Okay, not a huge community, but don’t let that number fool you. In 1970, the population was 679. So, with new housing developments on the rise, their growth spurt continues.

Isanti sits in the Central Eastern part of the State. Highway 65 and County Road 5 make up the main roads going through the town. And, though it continues to grow, it maintains a reasonably rural backdrop. This low elevation land comes from glacial deposits comprised of marshes, lakes, and streams.

Isanti history:

The Rum River represents the starting point of Isanti’s history. In 1767 Jonathan Carver named the river Rum River derived from the Dakota word Wakan Wakpa or Spirit River. The name Isanti also came from a Dakota Tribe.

The first Post Office in Isanti, the Dakota Post Office, took place in 1865. The central part of the town ended up relocated in 1899 to take part in the Great Northern Railroad.

Isanti suffered a massive fire and needed rebuilding in 1930. Below is a picture of Main Street in 1910. Speaking of fires, an arsonist destroyed the Isanti Historical Society building in 2011 and just about everything in it. They relied on donations from current and past residents to piece the history back together.

I mentioned earlier that I had my own historical connection. Well, 50 years ago, The Bar L Golf Course and Supper Club was the place to go in Isanti. My great great aunt and uncle May and Ray Larowe started the establishment in about 1954. It was a place to eat a great meal, hear music, play golf, or go horseback riding. Ray saw the vision from almost nothing, and it remained popular throughout the 1960s.

If you live in a house in Isanti built in the 1960s, chances are Ray or Frenchie (as he was often called) built it. He then went on to build the Golden Tee in Ham Lake, which later became Majestic Oaks.

It’s possible Ray and May helped put Isanti on the map, but I know they helped put me on the map. It turns out my Grandpa lived with his Aunt May and Uncle Ray early in the 1950s just before he entered the Navy. My Grandma lived two doors down with her family, and well, here I am.

Things to do in Isanti and Places to eat and drink:

Okay, so enough about me. Isanti boasts plenty of natural beauty, which culminates at Rum River Regional Park. But, the town offers more than just hiking trails


Check out the Wintergreen Bar. With its patio, bar, and golf course, it’s the place to gather now for comfort food, a round of golf, or a few libations.

Thunder Brothers Brewery offers everything from food trucks, to karaoke, to poetry slams, and oh, they’ve got some great beer as well, including Naked Pale Ale and Thunderbird Milk Stout. They do a lot for the community, and I’m sure they’d appreciate a visit from you.

If you’re tired of the big corporate coffee shops, check out Rendezvous Coffee House and enjoy your coffee in a one-of-a-kind establishment.

If your vehicle suffered damage in the last hail storm, I’m the guy you want to call. If you live in Isanti or anywhere in the Twin Cities or the surrounding area, don’t hesitate to call regarding hail damage or other dents and dings. I come to you and follow all the guidelines around COVID-19 to keep your family and mine safe. Give me a call or contact me here. I would love to hear from you.


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