Post by ● Jun 6, 2016

City of White Bear Lake: A Brief History

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The first inhabitants of White Bear Lake were the Dakota and Ojibway Indians, who used this land for hunting and harvesting. In an 1825 treaty, the United States government designated the area that today is known as White Bear Lake as Dakota land, but later bought the portion east of the Mississippi for settlement.

In 1858, which is the year Minnesota became a state, the first European settlers founded White Bear Lake Township. This township covered 36 square miles and soon became a resort area. Steamboats carried travelers down the Mississippi River to White Bear Lake.  Resorts, hotels, restaurants, stores, and theaters popped up in this scenic area.

In 1868, the Lake Superior and Mississippi River Railroads expanded to White Bear Lake, which drastically changed transportation. Before, traveling by horse and buggy from St. Paul took 3 hours, but with the railroad fully constructed, the trip was cut to a mere 20 minutes. The railroad created opportunity for industry and business and in 1871, the railroad connected to Duluth.

At the turn of the century, the resort business died out, and farming and lumbering began to prosper. In 1921, the City of White Bear Lake was officially incorporated with a population of 2,000 residents. During the 1950s and 1960s, White Bear Lake underwent extensive residential expansion. By 1960, White Bear Lake grew to cover 7 square miles and had a population of 13,000. Development of roads and utilities expanded during the 1970s and 1980s. During this time, the downtown area was redeveloped and nationally known companies came to the area of White Bear Lake.

Even today, the community of White Bear Lake, Minnesota continues to prosper and residents take pride in their rich history. The City of White Bear Lake maintains a perfect small town appeal while residing in a major metropolitan area.

If you have any questions regarding the city of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.