White Bear Lake, Minnesota
White Bear Lake
Beartown, The Burr, Prison
City of Lakes and Legends
|• Total||8.66 sq mi (22.44 km2)|
|• Land||8.06 sq mi (20.89 km2)|
|• Water||0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)|
|Elevation||942 ft (287 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,208.71/sq mi (1,238.87/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0654077|
|Website||City of White Bear Lake|
White Bear Lake is a city in Ramsey County in the state of Minnesota. A small portion of the city also extends into Washington County. The population was 23,769 at the 2010 census. The city is located on White Bear Lake, one of the largest lakes in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.
Origin of name
The city is named after its largest lake, White Bear Lake. American writers have delivered differing versions of the legend that explains the origin of the name. In her book Indian Legends of Minnesota, Mrs. Carl T. Thayer writes that "It is said that a Sioux maiden fell in love with a Chippewa brave. She, the daughter of the Chief, on learning that her father planned war against the Chippewa, ran to her lover and warned him. The brave went alone into the Sioux village to ask for peace and the hand of the maiden. Before the Chief would agree, the Chippewa would have to do a brave deed."
"The lovers usually met on Manitou Island. One day, as the brave approached the Island, anticipating a meeting with his beloved, he saw, to his horror, a great white bear attacking her. He dashed to her rescue. Freed, she ran to get help from her father and the other Sioux. Returning, they saw the brave sink his knife into the bear. But too late, they both fell to the ground dead. Slowly, as they watched, the spirits of the brave and the bear rose from their prone bodies. It is said that even today, as night falls, the spirits of the bear and the brave wander the Island eternally in search of each other."
In Mark Twain's memoir Life on the Mississippi, he offers a different ending, relaying that "… the warrior, with one plunge of the blade of his knife, opened the crimson sluices of death, and the dying bear relaxed his hold. "That night, there was no more sleep for the band or the lovers, and as the young and the old danced about the carcass of the dead monster, the gallant warrior was presented with another plume, and ere another moon had set he had a living treasure added to his heart. Their children for many years played upon the skin of the white bear – from which the lake derives its name, and the maiden and the brave remembered long the fearful scene and rescue that made them one, for Kis-se-me-pa and Ka-go-ga could never forget their fearful encounter with the huge monster that came so near sending them to the happy hunting ground."
In 2016 a musical, The Legend of White Bear Lake, was produced by Youth Music Theatre UK and produced at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, England. Book music and lyrics were by Caroline Wigmore (originally from Minnesota) and Jennifer Green. The musical told the tale of the two lovers and the white bear after whom the lake is named.
The railroad was the largest man-made happening in White Bear Lake. On September 10, 1868, the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad officially opened the extension to White Bear Lake. This was a gala occasion. Ten platform cars of 300 men and four passenger cars for 200 ladies made the trip from St. Paul.
By 1874, Mark Twain had included White Bear Lake as the resort in his "Life on the Mississippi." The "American Travelers Journal" 1881 proclaimed, "One of the most popular resorts in the magic northlands is White Bear Lake." Barnum's hotel became the Leip House, featuring a ballroom, billiard room, dancing pavilion, bowling alley, and boats. F.C. Williams opened the Williams House on the Murray property on Lake Avenue. James Waters opened the White Bear House at the depot. In 1879, the Ramaley Pavilion was opened and described as "perhaps the finest structure around the lake" (Breeze 1890). There was Lake Side Cottage on Lake north of 6th and "Château gay." Shady Side, Bachelor's Rest and Hotel Benson were three of the resorts at Bald Eagle Lake.
The Cottage Park summer residents built a club house in 1881 where they had their meals, entertainment and social life. In 1881, the Manitou Implement Co. developed the Island for cottages with the added important feature of water works. The "Fillebrown" house on Lake Avenue was built in 1879 by C.P. Noyes. It was purchased in 1881 by Judge George Young and in 1905 purchased by the J. Walter Fillebrown family who donated the house to the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society in the 1970s.
The City of White Bear Lake was incorporated in 1921.
In 1940, Nellie G. Best painted a tempera mural, Early Voyageurs at Portage, as part of the WPA's nationwide mural project for the post office in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. The location of this mural is unknown. It may have been removed during a post office remodeling.
White Bear Lake High School and Mariner High School merged in 1983 to form White Bear Lake Area High School. There are still two buildings, now the North Campus and South Campus. North Campus (White Bear Lake High School) holds classes for freshman and sophomores while South Campus (the former Mariner High School) holds classes for juniors and seniors. The two buildings have a combined total of about 3,000 students.
The murder of three-year-old Dennis Jurgens in 1965 at the hands of his adoptive mother, Lois Jurgens, was arguably the biggest scandal to hit the town with her conviction in 1987. The story was recounted in Barry Siegel's true crime novel A Death in White Bear Lake.
In 1953, the Lakeshore Players Community Theater was organized. Lakeshore Players formerly operated out of a former church building constructed in 1889, at 4820 Stewart Avenue. In 2018 they moved to a new building in 2018 next to the White Bear Center for the Arts.
The White Bear Center for the Arts was officially organized on May 16, 1968 and moved to their new location at 4971 Long Avenue in the fall of 2013.
The White Bear Lake Area Historical Society was incorporated on September 25, 1970 and gathers, preserves and shares the stories of the five communities that touch the shore of White Bear Lake – Birchwood, Dellwood, Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake, and White Bear Township.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,797 people, 9,945 households, and 6,304 families living in the city. The population density was 2,967.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,145.6/km2). There were 10,479 housing units at an average density of 1,306.6 per square mile (504.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.1% White, 2.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.
There were 9,945 households, of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.6% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.92.
The median age in the city was 40.6 years. 21.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.9% were from 25 to 44; 28% were from 45 to 64; and 16.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 24,325 people, 9,618 households, and 6,649 families living in the city. The population density was 2,974.3 people per square mile (1,148.2/km2). There were 9,813 housing units at an average density of 1,199.9 per square mile (463.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.31% White, 1.08% African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.54% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 1.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 9,618 households, out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $52,934, and the median income for a family was $60,196. Males had a median income of $41,699 versus $31,797 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,338. About 3.3% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.
Smarte Carte, a company that provides baggage carts to many airports around the world, is headquartered in White Bear Lake, near Interstate 35E and Ramsey County Highway 96. International Paper, one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world, operates a significant facility in northern White Bear Lake on 9th Street across from Podvin Park. Next door is Magnepan, a manufacturer of high-end audio loudspeakers.
The White Bear Lake school system includes nine elementary sites, two middle school sites, and two high school sites. In addition to these, there is also an area learning center located at the former Golfview Elementary site. The White Bear Lake Area Schools operate as Independent School District 624.
Elementary schools (grades K–5)
- Birch Lake
- Hugo, located in Hugo
- Oneka, located in Hugo
- Otter Lake, located in White Bear Township
- Matoska International (Originally Parkview/Centerpoint)
- Vadnais Heights, located in Vadnais Heights
- Willow Lane
Middle schools (grades 6–8)
- Sunrise Park
High schools (grades 9–12)
- White Bear Lake Area High School (North Campus): grades 9 & 10
- White Bear Lake Area High School (South Campus): grades 11 & 12
- White Bear Lake Area Learning Center (ALC): grades 9–12
- Frassati Catholic Academy (grades Preschool through 8) (Merging of St. Mary of the Lake School and St. Pius X School)
- Liberty Classical Academy (grades Pre-K through 12)
- Magnuson Christian School (grades K through 8)
- St. Anne's Academy (grades 1–12)
- Tony Benshoof, Olympic athlete competing in luge
- Jackson Bond, actor ("The Invasion", 2007)
- Brian Bonin, 1992 White Bear High School graduate, University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Men's Hockey, 1996 Hobey Baker Award winner
- Justin Braun, 2005 White Bear High School graduate, University of Massachusetts Amherst hockey, NHL defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers
- Jim Brunzell, 1967 White Bear High School graduate, University of Minnesota football and track & field, retired wrestler
- Bill Butters, 1969 White Bear High School graduate, University of Minnesota hockey, retired defenseman in the WHA and NHL
- Ryan Carter, 2002 White Bear High School graduate, Minnesota St. University hockey, NHL center for the Minnesota Wild
- Josh A. Cassada, NASA Astronaut 
- Rick Danmeier, 1970 White Bear High School graduate, football player White Bear Lake High School, straight-on kicker for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings (1977–1982)
- Moose Goheen (1894–1979), NHL hockey player, Member of Professional Hockey Hall of Fame, class of 1952 Moose Goheen – Hall of Fame Bio
- Nora Greenwald (a.k.a. Molly Holly), former WWE Diva
- Trent Hafdahl, White Bear Lake Class of 2004, Lead guitarist and founding member of After the Burial
- Matt Henderson, 1992 White Bear High School graduate, University of North Dakota Men's Hockey, former NHL player
- Orrin Henry Ingram, Sr. (a.k.a. Hank Ingram) (1904–1963), American heir and businessman
- Steve Janaszak, hockey goalie, 1975 Hill-Murray School graduate, University of Minnesota, 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle on Ice" Team
- Bradley Joseph, composer, keyboardist with Yanni and Sheena Easton
- Devoney Looser, Jane Austen scholar
- Harry Mares, educator, Minnesota state legislator, and mayor of White Bear lake
- Joe Miller (1850–1891), Major League Baseball player
- John Watson Milton, Minnesota State Senator and writer
- Paul M. Nakasone, United States Army Lieutenant General, Commander United States Army Cyber Command
- Jeff Parker, 1983 White Bear Mariner High School graduate, Michigan St. University hockey, NHL with Hartford, Buffalo, Pittsburgh
- Alice Peacock, folk singer
- Elwyn "Doc" Romnes (1909–1984), former NHL hockey player
- James Root (1843-1911), St. Paul and Duluth Railroad engineer, hero of the Great Hinckley Fire
- Brad Stanius, Minnesota state legislator and mayor of White Bear Lake
- David Tanabe, hockey player, Hill-Murray School, University of Wisconsin hockey, NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins
- Jacob Volkmann, UFC fighter and chiropractic
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- Twain, Mark (1883). Life on the Mississippi. p. 399.
- "The Legend of White Bear Lake - Youth Music Theatre UK". www.youthmusictheatreuk.org. Archived from the original on 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
- Kallermeyn, Pat. "The Canoe: A Vehicle for the Spirit". Canoeing.com. Canoeing.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-04. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
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- Science. "NASA names eight new astronaut trainees -- half of them women".
- "Alice Ingram To Be Married". The Daily Telegram. 1 October 1955. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved July 7, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Swenson, Grace (1988). From the Ashes: The Story of the Hinckley Fire of 1894. St. Cloud, MN: North Star Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-0878390472. Retrieved 30 August 2020.