The earliest inhabitants of the WhitenBear Lake area were the Dakota and the Ojibwe Indians who used it forntheir migratory hunting and harvesting grounds.
The United States governmentndesignated the area as Dakota land in an 1825 treaty, but later purchased allnDakota territory east of the Mississippi to open it fornEuropean-American settlement.
Rich land, abundant game, and scenic lakesnattracted the early pioneers to this area. In 1858, thenyear Minnesota became a state, these first European-American settlersnestablished White Bear Township, which consisted of 36 square miles ofnland. As word of its scenic landscape spread, the town grew into anpopular resort area, attracting visitors from all along the MississippinRiver. People would travel up the Mississippi by steamboat and onnto White Bear Lake by train. Soon resorts and hotels lined the shoresnof the lake while restaurants, theaters and stores set up shop in the downtownnto accommodate visitors.
The extension of Lake Superior and thenMississippi Railroad to White Bear Lake in 1868 turned what used tonbe a three hour horse and buggy ride from St. Paul into a twentynminute trip. Rail service provided new and exciting opportunitiesnfor business and industry in the area, eventually connecting to Duluth inn1871.
During the 1970s and 1980s, large parcels ofnland were opened for development through the city’s effort to extend roads andnutilities. The city’s aggressive economic development program led tonextensive growth in its tax base and employment levels. Several nationallynknown companies have moved into the area while downtown redevelopment effortsncontinue to make great strides in expanding downtown’s critical mass.
Over the years, the White BearnLake area has continued to grow and prosper. Today the City’sn24,000 residents enjoy the advantages of being part of a major metropolitannarea while residing in a community that has maintained its small home-townnappeal.
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Updated: 20th October, 2020 4:51 AM (UTC).