The flagpole along Highway 61 at the south end of Railroad Park was the result of a community expression of patriotism. During the summer of 1939, the effort to bring a municipal flagpole to our city was launched. By October, most of the funds had been raised, and the 75-foot flagpole was ordered. It was installed in time to be dedicated to veterans of all wars in a brief ceremony on Armistice Day that year.
Grand plans leading up to the celebration were to include performances by the White Bear High School band led by Harry Hauglie, the local scouts and the VFW Auxiliary. Despite inclement weather, several hundred people turned out to celebrate the presentation of the flag to White Bear Lake mayor Charles Buckbee.
The following spring, the Work Projects Administration constructed the 15-foot circular stone bench that remains as the base of the flagpole today. The Soldiers’ Memorial Flagpole Committee, led by chairman L.A. Palmer, raised approximately $350 for this landmark. This effort is yet another example of White Bear Lake’s history of collaboration to complete projects in our community. Sara Markoe Hanson is the executive director of the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society.