Then & Now

While White Bear is known as Minnesota’s first resort town, Mahtomedi had its hand in the tourism trade quite early as well. The area was platted in 1883, and summer visitors began to arrive as early as May each season to take advantage of the cooling lake breezes and the relaxed atmosphere.

Bicycles have been popular for decades. Some may think the need for safe bicycle paths is a new movement, but, in fact, the matter was taken up before the village council at White Bear before the turn of the 20th century.

Grocery stores have evolved over the decades from small, very local shops found on nearly every block, in every neighborhood, to supermarkets offering products and services of all kinds. The White Bear area has had many stores come and go over the years.

When asked how they first become interested in studying weather, many meteorologists cite a major childhood event, such as a tornado or hurricane.

Beginning as early as 1926, White Bear undertook a winter festival, first as a Corn and Potato Show in partnership with the Ramsey County Agricultural Society.

Christmas with all of its traditions is a special time for many families. Whether baking, sledding, wrapping gifts or decorating your home to look like a high-voltage power plant is part of your family’s customs, it is quite likely they have taken on a special meaning over the years.

The lake might get all the headlines, but it’s downtown that tells the real story of White Bear Lake. For generations, the town’s merchants have enhanced the fabric of the community by opening their doors to residents and visitors alike.

The cornerstone for the White Bear Armory, located at Fourth Street and Cook Avenue, was laid September 27, 1922, in a grand ceremony. Speakers included White Bear Lake Mayor Earl Jackson and St.

For a time during the 1940s and 1950s, downtown White Bear had its own theater district. The Avalon Theatre was the manifestation of the dreams of Mrs. Jesse Jensen, who had come to town in 1920 with her two children and operated the Auditorium Theatre on Fourth Street.

Tim Bartz, left, and Justin McPhee, owners of Mold Craft, have taken their Willernie business to a whole new level of success.

Sometimes great opportunity doesn’t come in the form of a new idea or invention, but rather in the perfection of a practical idea that can facilitate others. Mold Craft, the custom injection-mold making company located in Willernie, has qui