White Bear is known to be the place to find your new car, and Highway 61 has been dubbed the “White Bear auto strip.” Long before Highway 61 even existed in White Bear, Clark Avenue was the place to visit to find your next ride. Read more about Motorcar Mecca: The Car History of White Bear Lake
White Bear Lake history
In a community where life often seems to revolve around “the lake,” one of the most anticipated and talked about annual events is the spring ice-out. So it’s not surprising that chronicling the annual demise of the wintertime ice sheet has been one of White Bear Lake’s longest shared traditions. Read more about Melting Point: Chronicling Ice-Out on White Bear Lake
Fishing has always been able to pull visitors and residents to the waters of White Bear and Bald Eagle lakes. If we reach back to the days of the woodland Indians, we find references to the bounty of fish found in the lakes of our area. And today, even with water levels of concern, visitors still enjoy angling here.
Read more about Classic Fishermen on White Bear Lake
The historic Erd-Geist Gazebo was designed and built in 1883 by summer visitor Thomas Erd for his daughter Annie and her husband Emil Geist. Erd built many grand structures, including downtown St. Paul’s Assumption Church. This smaller gazebo was erected on the south shore of White Bear Lake and took most of a summer to construct.
Read more about A Look Back at White Bear Lake's Gazebo
The holidays have always been festive in the White Bear area. Community churches and organizations have embraced both the religious and secular traditions of the season in many ways. The residents of Mahtomedi gather for an annual tree lighting ceremony. The congregation at St. Stephen Lutheran Church on County Road E organizes a live nativity scene. The White Bear Lake Area Historical Society hosts an annual children’s event, where little ones gather under the Christmas tree in the parlor of the 1879 Fillebrown House and listen to stories both old and new. Read more about Last Glance: Historical Holiday Happenings around White Bear Lake
Thanksgiving has been celebrated in a number of ways throughout our area’s history. There are, of course, the traditional family gatherings with the customary turkey, cranberries and pie, and the anticipation in more recent years of Black Friday deals. There have also been more unusual commemorations of the occasion through local organizations and civic clubs.
Read more about History: Celebrating Thanksgiving in White Bear Lake
Hunting in our area has a long lineage. Native Americans prized these lands as an excellent source of small game and waterfowl; the forests were plentiful and the multitude of waterways created an abundance of opportunity. As European-Americans began to settle north of St. Paul in the mid-19 century, their correspondence with relatives back home included accounts of the bountiful feasts enjoyed from the game that lived all around. Read more about White Bear Lake's hunting tradition bonds a community.
September 17, 1948, was a day filled with community pride in White Bear. Thousands were in attendance as the newly lighted Price Field was dedicated by Gov. Luther Youngdahl. The field is still used today by Central Middle School for its physical education classes and other district-sponsored sporting events, but in 1948 it was the home of the White Bear High School football team. Read more about Price Field in White Bear Lake
The Hotel Leip was the largest of White Bear’s resorts during the heyday of the resort era from 1870 to 1910. Col. William Leip immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1846 and settled first in St. Paul, where he prospered in the cigar and liquor trade. By 1861 he had taken up brewing ale, and by 1865, he had purchased White Bear’s first resort, the Barnum House, located on the strip of land between White Bear and Goose lakes. Read more about White Bear Lake History: The Hotel Leip Resort
When you walk into the Cobblestone Café in the heart of downtown White Bear Lake, you’ll see a black-and-white photo from 1947 of two smiling waitresses in their Malt Shoppe uniforms. On June 2 of that year, the Malt Shoppe opened its doors, advertising free cake with each dish of ice cream on grand opening day. Read more about Cobblestone Cafe's White Bear Lake Legacy