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White Bear Lake, Minnesota

White Bear Lake is a city in Ramsey and Washington counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The population was 24,325 at the 2000 census. White Bear Lake lies primarily in Ramsey County.

White Bear Lake is also a lake in Minnesota, one of the largest lakes in the Minneapolis St. Paul metropolitan area. It is named White Bear Lake because of its association to an Ojibwe legend regarding the appearance of a white bear.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.7 square miles (22.5 km²), of which, 8.2 square miles (21.2 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (5.87%) is water.

U.S. Highway 61, Ramsey County Highway 96, Minnesota State Highway 96, Interstate 35E, and Interstate 694 are five of the main routes in the city.


As of the census of 2000, there were 24,325 people, 9,618 households, and 6,646 families residing 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/sq mi (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.


Some say that White Bear Lake was the object of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's Winter Dreams, as he describes life in Black Bear Lake, Minnesota. What is not in doubt is that White Bear Lake became a sort of de facto gangster haven during the Prohibition era. Those gangsters in Chicago who felt the need to get out of town until "things cooled off" would frequent White Bear Lake, a fact that is not lost on today's Chamber of Commerce who tout this as a reason to visit.

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 1952, the Lakeshore Players Community Theater was organized. Currently, Lakeshore Players resides in a former church building constructed in 1889, at 4820 Stewart Avenue.

The White Bear Center for the Arts was officially organized on May 16, 1968 and currently resides in the old armory building at 2228 Fourth Street.

High School Athletic Program History

White Bear High School won the Minnesota State Class AA Football Championship in 1976. The team posted a 12-0 record and finished the season with a 14-13 overtime win over Cloquet. The team held opponents to an average of less than one touchdown per game and ended the year as the only undefeated large school football team in Minnesota.

In 1982, Mariner High School took second place in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Championships. This was prior to the change in the state hockey playoff format. The team was coached by Tom Simpson whose motto was "Hustle, Desire, Discipline."

The Athletic Program is known for its back to back 26-0 basketball seasons in 1984-85, creating a 52 game winning streak led by the charismatic "General" of the hardwood Jim Galvin.

Paul Mork, former football and baseball coach, led the Bears for more than 20 years.


Smarte Carte, a company that provides baggage carts to many airports around the world, is headquartered in White Bear Lake, just off Interstate 35E and Ramsey County 96.


The city of White Bear Lake offers five golf clubs/courses for entertainment:
- Gem Lake Hills Golf Course (Public)
- Manitou Ridge Golf Course (Public)
- Oneka Ridge Golf Course (Public)
- Dellwood Hills Golf Club (Private)
- White Bear Yacht Club (Private)

Public Schools

The White Bear Lake school system includes 9 elementary sites, 2 middle school sites, and 2 high school sites.

Elementary Schools (grades K-5)

Birch Lake








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

Private Schools

St. Mary of the Lake School (grades PRE-K through 8)

St. Pius X Holy Family School (grades PRE-K through 8)

Notable natives and/or residents


External links

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