City of Gem Lake: A Brief History

Tagged: City of Gem Lake, Gem Lake, Jean Nicollet, Town of White Bear, Ramsey County,

The city of Gem Lake, Minnesota shares much of its history with the larger, surrounding cities of White Bear Lake and Little Canada. Originally a wooded land covered with lakes, the area now known today as Gem Lake remained uncolonized until the 1840s. As early as 1843, French explorer Jean Nicollet drew a map depicting “Bear’s Lake.” This was the first record of the present day area, and it would signify the impending colonization.

Civilization started to make its appearance in 1851, when a road is shown on a map of the area that would eventually become Little Canada. Just seven years later, in 1858, the Town of White Bear was established. The economy was based on farming, and many of the earliest settlers chose the land because it was good for horseback riding. In fact, early activities included playing polo and going on fox hunts throughout the woods.

The land that would become the City of Gem Lake was part of early White Bear.  It was more than one hundred years later, on June 30, 1959, that Gem Lake voted to incorporate as Ramsey County’s newest suburb. Ninety-five percent of the people who went to the polls that day voted in favor of incorporation. Since then, Gem Lake has maintained a close-knit community. Its small size is a reflection of its humble roots, but the pristine beauty of the lake and the convenient location make Gem Lake a beautiful destination to call home.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Gem Lake, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit TwinCitiesPropertyFinder.com or call 1-800-909-1953.


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