Ticket holders can once again view 10 historic and unique properties around town, some of which may never again be open to the public. The sites can be seen Sunday, Sept. 29, by purchasing a $25 ticket from the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society. Members pay $20.
The homes include a Lake Avenue two-story built in 1885; a Cottage Park home built in 2017 with a nautical motif; and a Crestline Drive home built in 1963. This home was built as part of the building boom in the ’50s and ’60s when White Bear’s population spiked. The lower level of this home was redesigned to function as a completely separate dwelling space.
A Mahtomedi cottage on Quail Street is House No. 6 on the tour. It sits on the former site of the Mahtomedi Hotel, which accommodated guests visiting the Chautauqua. The hotel was partially dismantled in 1907 and portions were used to construct cottages in the area, including this one.
A Lincoln Avenue home built in 1885, House No. 8, was the home of William W. Webber, who settled in White Bear in 1855. His first wife, Amanda, and two of their sons died in the 1860s and were buried on the farm. Webber and his surviving son, William Jr., remained and soon realized there was need for a nondenominational cemetery. Union Cemetery was formally organized out of Section 36 of the Webber farm property in 1877. Established on June 27, 1877, on the corner of Hwy. 96 and Second Street, the cemetery is a bonus site on the tour.
A modern architectural style is readily apparent with House No. 9 on Park Avenue in Mahtomedi. The original home on the 1919 lake property was demolished in 2007 and a new one was built. That home succumbed to fire in 2012. The current home takes advantage of the lakeshore lot that drew people to it more than a century ago.
Rounding out the 10 on tour is the charming 1879 Fillebrown House, representing White Bear’s golden resort years, First Presbyterian Church and its magnificent stained glass, White Bear Town Hall undergoing restoration in Polar Lakes Park, and the original White Bear High School, now the school district center, built in 1918.
Tickets can be purchased online at whitebearhistory.org, by phone at 651-407-5327 or at the White Bear Lake Armory, 2228 Fourth St. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Visitors should be prepared to remove their shoes when touring the homes.