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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
St. Mary of the Lake School (grades PRE-K through 8)
St. Pius X Holy Family School (grades PRE-K through 8)