In the early 1900s, New Hope was a farming-rich community. The area was settled as part of Crystal Lake Township and became the home for many family farms. As housing developments spread west from Minneapolis in the 1930s, the residents of Crystal Lake Township began the movement to incorporate the township.
In 1936, the city of Crystal was incorporated. Forming a city, though, was not supported by all residents in the township. The rural residents in the western half of the township broke away from the city of Crystal and formed their own township. The resistant residents, mostly farmers, were unhappy about paying taxes for projects such as street lighting and sanitary sewer. The name the farmers selected for their new township was a reflection of the time: New Hope.
The township of New Hope had three distinct boundaries to the north, south and west (currently demarcated by 62nd Avenue North, Medicine Lake Road, and Highway 169 respectively). The eastern boundary shared with the city of Crystal, however, was less distinct. Many residents along the border formed groups and requested to be annexed by Crystal in order to receive what were the most modern city services at the time. Others, however, were happy to be part of New Hope township and remained separate from Crystal. Therefore, pockets of New Hope residents were created along the eastern boundary.
By the early 1950s, the rapidly developing township of New Hope chose the fate it had eluded just over 15 years earlier. In 1953, New Hope incorporated as a city to prevent losing more of its land and residents to Crystal via annexation. This move was again opposed by the farming community of New Hope, but housing developments between 1936 and 1953 had made farmers a minority in New Hope.
When the township was incorporated, it had 600 residents. The city grew rapidly and was the home to over 2,500 people by 1958. This rapid population growth continued through the 1960s, and by 1971, there were 24,000 residents in New Hope. The population of the community has declined slightly since 1971.