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COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

The White Bear Lake Area Historical Society offices and Resource Library at the White Bear Lake Armory are open to the public by appointment. Please call 651-407-5327 or email office@whitebearhistory.org to arrange a time. 

The Fillebrown House and White Bear Town Hall remain closed to the public at this time. 

We made it to $50,000!

We made it to $50,000!

We made it to $50,000!

We are so excited to announce that with a donation from WBLAHS Past President and supporter Mary Jane LaVigne we have reached our goal of raising $50,000 through the 50th anniversary!

It was a tremendous undertaking that took the efforts of a great many dedicated volunteers, sponsors and donors to pull off. We could not have done it without each and every one who played a part in this milestone.

Please continue to the enjoy the online offerings at Whitebearhistory.org through October 31st and if you have not yet made a contribution to the important work of the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society to gather, preserve and share the stories of our community there is still time to do so.

We thank you all and can’t wait to see what the future brings for the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society!

Support our work

There are so many more stories to tell! Help launch us into our next 50 years.

Shifting Gears for 50 Years

Shifting Gears for 50 Years

For the first time since 2007 the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society will not be having the White Bear Area Historic House Tour this fall. The tradition which began in the 1970s as a collaboration between the historical society and the White Bear Lake Women’s Club as a part of Manitou Days was revived by the WBLAHS in 2007.  The community building event served as an opportunity to raise funds, hear stories of our community through homes that are interesting due to their architecture, former inhabitants, location or other features and bring people to the area. With the challenges presented by COVID-19 it was decided that the Historic House Tour 2020 would be canceled.

When one door closes another opens. September 25, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society as an organization. With the Historic House Tour scheduled for Sunday, September 27th we contemplated several ideas to commemorate this important milestone, but continued to struggle with balancing it and the effort required by the tour. With the cancellation of the tour event this year, a newly envisioned anniversary celebration has taken shape. Much like the rest of the world, we have had to rethink and re-envision how we do things and particularly how we can continue to connect our community to its past. As a historian, shifting to new and everchanging technology is not my strongest skillset, but I am inspired by looking back to those who had the foresight in 1970 to formally create an organized charged with preserving the history of this special place and those who took the leap in 2001 to hire the first paid staff to allow the WBLAHS to grow and adapt to the changing times. As we celebrate the past 50 years and launch the WBLAHS on the path for the next 50 years we must continue to adapt and reimagine what it possible.

Over the weekend of September 25-27 the WBLAHS will present “50 for 50 – Celebrating 50 Years of the WBLAHS” a 50 hour virtual “event” featuring an online segment each hour that showcases  an aspect of our community’s rich history and inspires viewers to support the important work of the WBLAHS with a goal of raising $50,000 for 50 Years. The online segments will include live and pre-recorded sections on local favorites such as Wildwood Amusement Park, White Bear’s Notorious Gangsters, The Johnson Boat Works Story, Cass Gilbert’s White Bear Cottages, White Bear’s Hockey History and much more including an interactive happy hour and live trivia segment on Saturday night.

In 2020 we have launched our first efforts into virtual programming and have been inspired by the opportunity to reach audiences that would have previously been limited by geography, scheduling conflicts and other obstacles that disappear when a program is available online. Admittedly, the format is not perfect and we would never rely solely upon it for connecting with our members and supporters, but during these unusual times it is a wonderful opportunity to connect in a new way. We hope you will join us!

Congratulations Graduates of 2020

Congratulations Graduates of 2020

Much has been said and done to honor the graduates of 2020. Their senior year has been very different than many of them expected and their resilience is something that should not be taken lightly. They join other classes who suffered unimaginable challenges when their school careers began.

The class of 1918 found themselves graduating into a war like none that had been seen before. Graduating classes from the 1940s and 1960s encountered similar uncertainty as draft boards issued orders and futures were unclear. For each generation and each graduating class there are different circumstances and different trials to overcome. Often these experiences make the individuals stronger and ultimately the community more robust.

The White Bear Lake Area Historical Society is honored to have been invited to make a donation to the White Bear Lake Area High School graduating class of 2020. Each graduate has been provided a copy of Looking Back at White Bear Lake:  A Pictorial History of the White Bear Lake Area by Cynthia E. Vadnais. We hope this gift provides them with the opportunity to have a better understanding of the history of this area and the importance of the unique stories of each member of this community.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020! We salute you as you make your mark on history and can’t wait to see what you do next!