Then & Now

This photo of a group of White Bear Lake sailors was taken in the 1920s.

For a century and a half, sailors have skimmed the water of White Bear and surrounding lakes. The earliest known “fleet” of boats belonged to William Markoe who, along with his five sons, had a collection of six sailboats they raced off their dock on Lake Avenue at the foot of Shady Lane.

Chuck & Don’s, the pet store mecca that welcomes four-legged creatures as much as the two-legged variety, didn’t, as it turns out, start as a store idea at all.

The iconic Manitou Island bridge.

Manitou Island has always been something of a magical place in the hearts and minds of the people of the area. Manitou means “spirit” in several Native American languages, and the island got the name when the legend of the white bear was popularized during the 1880s.

 Folks enjoying the warm weather and great music at Tally’s Dockside.

Nothing says summer quite like a scoop or two of rocky road, musicians playing against the backdrop of a setting sun and an old-fashioned barbecue.

Visitors arriving at Wildwood Park via streetcar, ca 1910.

Wildwood Amusement Park originally opened in the 1880s on the southern shore of White Bear Lake. In those early years, it was little more than a picnic ground with lake access. By the 1893 summer season, amusements, such as a water toboggan slide and shooting gallery, were added.

Scott Mueller is the second-generation owner of Mueller Memorial.

A defunct funeral home might not be the ideal place to start life as a married couple, but for Al and Connie Mueller, this was the beginning of their story together.

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.

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.

The Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament has long been a tradition for White Bear Lake, despite the fact that since the inaugural tournament in 1945, the Bears have not made it past the consolation round.  

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.