The Laker

Page 1


Luxury Manitou Estate SOLD!

2540 Manitou Island, White Bear Lake


White Bear Lakeshore Home Sold by Rathmanner & Co.

By following our 3-Steps to a Successful Sale and Marketing Plan, our sellers maximized their sale price with limited showings when we matched a buyer with their home. Our team has perfected our process to ensure a smooth transition for all our buyers and sellers. Thinking about selling in 2024 reach out today for more information!

Send the Laker your summer lake photos

Enjoying this first issue? Readers are the best photographers capturing the Bald Eagle and White Bear Lake vibe. Send your photos by Monday, June 3 to for possible use in Laker No. 2, arriving in mailboxes, newsstands and online just in time for the Fourth of July. Send all types of lake life photos including:

• The lake vibe

• Scenic/nature/wildlife

• Kids/pets at the lake

• Water sports

• Big catch

• Underwater

• Historic

• Beach/sandcastles

Stay on board

Join the Laker crew to get periodic email updates about lake happenings. Share your thoughts about the issue and your suggestions to ppinfo@ with subject line "LAKER." 651.485.1555

2A THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024
home's current value?
Marty at 651-485-1555 for a complimentary Home Valuation Consultation.
about your
Ellen Maas | Contributed
Bald Eagle Area Association | Contributed

The Cargo Manifest

Welcome summer, and welcome to 2024’s first LAKER issue

Ah, summer. A sure sign of summer is watching the last few docks going in the water. Another, newer sign of summer is seeing the first issue of the LAKER arrive in mailboxes.

The LAKER launched in 2023, delivering to White Bear lakeshore homeowners, deeded access residents, dock association members and dozens of lake area newsstands.

This year, delivery includes Bald Eagle Lake homeowners, thanks to Bald Eagle Area Association board of directors. Thank you.

For readers who like cool boats, Deb Neutkens presents unique boats starting on 1B. BTW – if you know of other cool boats, send photos and descriptions to ppinfo@ with subject line LAKER. Sailors will find Deb Neutkens feature on A scow boats on 6B. A schedule of A scow races on White Bear and E scow and Hobie Cat races on Bald Eagle are also inside. If you plan to watch races, spectator etiquette is also inside. Keep a wide berth around racing sailboats.

Readers like to glimpse inside lake homes. This issue features the Espe home on 1C.

History buffs can marvel at the Victorian splendor of the lost Ramaley Pavilion on 3C.

The White Bear Lake Conservation District shares its 2023 accomplishments, 2024 buoy placement, aquatic invasive species work and more on pages 5A to 8A. WBLCD board member profiles are on 9C. Those who love clean lake water will enjoy hearing about how Bald Eagle Area Association’s hard work is paying off on 4A. Looking for something to do? Check out the LAKER calendar on 9A and 10A.

Inside the next issue, readers will find lake maps, commissioned by the LAKER for both Bald Eagle and White Bear lakes.

Before you dock your reading glasses, make sure to let us know what you think about the LAKER. Email ppinfo@ From our crew to your crew, we hope you agree the newest summer essential is the LAKER.

Port of Call Port of Call Shore Leave Shore Leave Log Book Cover photo contributed by Jay Rendall Photography @2024 The LAKER is proudly published by Press Publications. 4779 Bloom Ave., White Bear Lake, MN 55110 The LAKER will return in time for the Fourth of July.

PORT OF CALL ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼


Since 2002, Bald Eagle Lake has been one of the many lakes included on the state’s impaired waters list. As of May 2024, that has changed.

Bald Eagle Lake is one of several local lakes are to be removed from Minnesota’s impaired waters list.

“That’s a positive development and a big deal. This is rare,” said Matt Kocian, lake and stream program manager at Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD). “Statewide, there is not a lot of delistings. There are thousands of impairment listings and less than 50 cases of delistings.” He added that the RCWD, which includes 55 lakes and 186 square miles, has only had one delisting approved.

The 1,071-acre lake is deemed “the most popular muskie lake in the East Metro” by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The lake extends into Washington and Anoka counties and lies between I-35 E and Highway 61 just north of White Bear Lake.

According to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), Bald Eagle Lake was added to the list of impaired waters in 2002.

As required by the federal Clean Water Act, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) assesses all state waters and creates a list of impaired waters every two years. The list includes waters that fail to meet water quality standards and uphold that water body’s designated use. The list is used to set pollutant-reduction goals needed to restore impaired waters, called the total maximum daily load (TMDL).

Although it is not the only factor that can lead to algae blooms, phosphorus is one of the main drivers of algae blooms. Kocian explained that RCWD staff are out on Bald Eagle about every two weeks during the open water season to collect water samples.

The RCWD has data dating back to 1980. Kocian said both phosphorus and algae have historically been “very high” in the lake; as a result, the lake was

average lake homeowner would want to see,” Donovan explained. “It was a simple goal of I want to see my feet at the end of the dock when I’m in the water, which was something we couldn’t see for quite some time … We took the quantifiable study, and we correlated it to something that was much more userfriendly.”

Several projects over the years have improved the lake quality. (See pullout box for more information.)

“Over the last 20 years, I can think of seven (or so) projects that have all been in cooperation with the RCWD,” said Mike Doran, Bald Eagle Lake Association past treasurer and board member.”

Donovan said both Kocian, and Steve McComas, a consultant with Blue Water Science, were critical in getting the lake removed from the impaired waters list.

“They have helped us out and guided us. We have done a lot of the hard work and heavy lifting in getting people behind a tax, but these guys were just as critical,” he said. “It was a common goal.”

experiencing frequent and severe algae blooms every summer.

Rick Donovan, past board president and board member of the Bald Eagle

Lake Association, said out of the required TMDL study, came quantifiable and scientific goals.

“We tried to drill it down to what the

Projects that have contributed to better lake quality:

• 2005 - The creation of retention ponds of Shuneman Marsh to catch sediment before it enters the lake.

• 2009 - Bald Eagle Area Association helps garner support for the creation of a taxing district to help pay future improvements.

• 2014 - Oneka Ridge Golf Course stormwater reuse project in Hugo, completed in 2014. Now, stormwater runoff from 915 acres irrigates 116 acres of the golf course — keeping an estimated 75 pounds of phosphorus out of the lake annually.

• 2014 and 2016 - An aluminum

sulfate (alum) treatment. At the time, it was the largest area treated in the state.

• 2020 - The installation of an ironenhanced sand filter and pond project on Ramsey County Ditch 11. It pumps ditch runoff to a series of iron-enhanced sand filters on township-owned land adjacent to the ditch. The constructed pond allows sediment and the pollutants it carries to settle out. The project keeps an estimated 43 pounds of phosphorus out of the lake annually.

• The creation of a large rain garden

Kocian explained that Bald Eagle is now regularly meeting the standards for both both (phosphorus and chlorophyll-a (algae). “We are in a much better place.” ◼

on West Avenue to capture runoff coming down the street before it enters the lake.

• The installation of SAFL baffles, a stormwater pretreatment system that fits into a sump structure and keeps sediment out of downstream water bodies.

• Offer cost-sharing grants for shoreline restoration projects to lake property owners. (RCWD pays 50%, lake association pays 30% and homeowner pays 20%).

4A THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024
File photo This rain garden collects dirty storm water before it can enter the lake.

Preserving White Bear Lake for Future Generations

5 facts about the White Bear Lake Conservation District

1 Founding

The WBLCD was founded in 1971 by an act of the MN Legislature. The mission of the WBLCD is to preserve White Bear Lake (WBL) for future generations.

2 Board

The WBLCD is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors comprised of two board members from each of the five municipalities surrounding WBL. The WBLCD employs one administrator.

3 Leadership

The WBLCD board members provide cohesive leadership on lake issues by creating and maintaining ordinances, contracting with law enforcement to police the lake and invasive species inspectors to monitor the boat launches, regulating docks and commercial marinas, conducting surveys of invasive species, treating invasive species and monitoring water quality.

Join WBLCD Lake cleanup event during Manitou Days

You are cordially invited to participate in the first annual Manitou Days WBLCD Lake Cleanup, on Saturday, June 15, 2024, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Please join the White Bear Lake Conservation District in protecting WBL for future generations. Choose a public shoreline or get out on the lake in a watercraft.


• Launch your canoe, kayak, rowboat, paddleboard or motorboat and scoop up any trash you see.

• Don’t have a boat? Pick up trash on foot from your own lakeshore, or choose a public park or shoreline to clean up.

***Important! Do not enter private land without permission from the landowner!***

• Once you have gathered your pile of trash, take a photo of your trash haul and either email it to the WBLCD office at wblcd@, or tag us on social media (WBLCD on Facebook or WBLConservationDistrict on Instagram) with hashtag #MDCleanUp.

• Finally, dispose of the trash in a proper waste receptacle.

4 Meetings

The WBLCD board meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the WBL City Council Chamber in City Hall. Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings. We reserve time at each meeting for public comment. Our offices are also located at WBL City Hall (basement level).

5 Funds

We receive funding from the five cities surrounding the lake and we generate revenue by charging fees and applying for grants. In 2023, households in each of these five cities paid an average of $1.30 per year for the WBLCD.

Frequently asked questions: Guidance for docks in low water conditions

What is the maximum length of dock allowed?

Docks can extend 200 feet from the Ordinary High Water Level (OHWL). If water at the end of the 200-foot dock is less than 4 feet, the dock length may be increased until the water is 4 feet deep or to a length of 300 feet, whichever is less. Docks greater than 300 feet require a permit from the WBLCD.

How many boats can be at a dock?

Four or less; more than four (4) boats require a permit from the WBLCD.

Do docks have to begin at the OHWL?

No, docks can begin at any point but the length will be measured from the OHWL.

Do I need a permit to combine docks with neighbors?

You do not need a permit unless the dock will be longer than 300 feet or have more than four (4) boats.

For docks already permitted by the WBLCD: What if I need a longer dock than I applied for during the 2024 boating season?

Please contact the WBLCD and you will be given paperwork to apply for a dock extension.

MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 5A
wblcd.ORg | wblcd@MsN.cOM | 651.429.8520
Contributed Maggie and Henry Morris with the trash they collected from the White Bear Lake cleanup event.

All about Buoys on White Bear Lake

There are three types of buoys found on White Bear Lake: navigational, mooring, and ski course.

Navigational buoys

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources | Contributed

The WBLCD places navigational buoys in several places around the lake as shown on this map.

The map shows approximate locations of our navigational buoys; they may change as the water level goes up and down in the lake. There are white shallow water buoys marked with a diamond, and white “no wake’ buoys marked with a circle. These types of buoys conform to standards set by the Minnesota DNR (see above diagram).

Mooring buoys

We also place spherical red and green marker buoys in Matoska Marsh to mark the main route through the marsh, directing boats to stay between the red markers on one side, and green markers on the other.

Beyond what WBLCD places in the lake, there are also navigational buoys placed by the counties and municipalities to keep boats out of swimming areas.

These buoys are designed to tie up sailboats or other watercraft. They require a permit from both the sheriff’s department and the WBLCD, and they must conform to standards set by the state. They are white spheres with a blue line across the middle.

WBLCD’s Ordinance #5 places several restrictions on placement of mooring buoys. See for full text of these rules, but here is a short summary:

• A license must be obtained from the WBLCD for placement of a mooring buoy in navigable waters of White

Bear Lake. See form #3 on wblcd. org under “Rules & Permits”.

• Mooring buoys must be registered by permit from the sheriff of the

county (either Ramsey County or Washington County, depending on location in the lake). This permit must be included with the application for a license from the WBLCD.

• Mooring buoys must meet standards for size, color and marking as specified by State of Minnesota Administrative Rule 6110.1500.

• Buoys must not be placed so as to obstruct navigation on the lake.

• Buoys must not be placed within 10 feet of a dock or other structure.

Water ski slalom buoys

Every summer, water ski slalom courses are temporarily set up in White Bear Lake. A permit from the WBLCD is required to set up such a course, and the course must be moved to a different location every three weeks. The courses are marked with brightly colored round 9 inch buoys that meet specifications set by the American Water Ski Association (AWSA).

6A THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024
INFORMATION FOR LAKE USERS, AREA RESIDENTS, AND LAKESHORE PROPERTY OWNERS wblcd.ORg | wblcd@MsN.cOM | 651.429.8520 2024 This KEY Shallow water buoys No wake buoys Channel m arker-left Channel marker-right
Buoy Danger
Information Controlled Area
Commons | Contributed
Department of Natural Resources | Contributed Mooring
Boats Keep Out

What to Know about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)


Starry Stonewort

NOT currently present in White Bear Lake

Starry stonewort is a macro algae that is a major threat to WBL. Once found in lakes, it is extremely expensive to treat with no hope of eradication at this time. Starry stonewort creates dense mats that can impede recreation and overtakes habitat for native plants and aquatic animals.

Starry stonewort is primarily spread through the movement of water-related equipment. Fragments can attach to trailers, motors, anchors and boats. Small bulbils can stick to trailer bunks, anchors, ropes, fabric, footwear, as well as scuba, fishing and hunting gear. A fragment smaller than the tip of your finger can start a new population.

Use extra caution when coming from the following starry stonewort infested lakes: Beltrami, Bemidji, Blackduck, Bowen, Carnelian (Stearns County), Cass, Clearwater, Dora, Grand (Stearns County), Koronis, Leech, Long (Hubbard and Kandiyohi County), Medicine, Minnewaska, Moose, North Twin, Pimushe, Pleasant (Wright County), Rice (Stearns County), Thunder, Big Turtle, Turtle River, Upper Red, West Sylvia, Winnibigoshish and Big Wolf. The Mississippi River is also infested with starry stonewort.

CAN BE ERADICATED: Invasive Yellow Iris

Present in White Bear Lake

Invasive yellow iris grows along shorelines and in shallow water. It can crowd out native shore land vegetation and can clog narrow waterways. Yellow iris expands quickly and can form dense mats. It is a toxic plant to animals. Invasive yellow iris was first discovered in WBL in 2020 in front of the Fillebrown House. It was eradicated the same year. In 2022, additional invasive yellow iris growth was found in Commercial Bay. We are asking lakefront homeowners to check their shorelines and shallow water for this plant.

Please see our website for more information on identification and eradication of Invasive Yellow Iris.


Present in White Bear Lake

In 2014 zebra mussels were discovered in WBL. At this time, the zebra mussel population is wide spread and will expand and contract depending on food supply.




Present in White Bear Lake Non-native phragmites were discovered growing on the edges of WBL in August 2018.  Non-native phragmites is an extremely tall wetland grass. During the growing season it can reach over 15 feet tall and has dark green leaves with a large purple-brown flower head. The WBLCD has surveyed and treated non-native phragmites each year since 2019. Phragmites were last treated fall of 2023.



Eurasian Water Milfoil

Present in White Bear Lake

EWM was first observed with a single plant collected near a public dock on the west side of WBL in 1988. Each year, the WBLCD conducts a survey of EWM growth in the lake, sampling over 700 sites. From this survey a treatment plan is created and the EWM is treated with a MN DNR approved herbicide. 47.67 acres of EWM was treated in the summer of 2023.

To avoid spreading aquatic invasive species BEFORE launching... BEFORE leaving:

• Clean off aquatic plants and aquatic animals

• Drain lake or river water away from landing

• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash

It's the Law:

• You may not transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited invasive species

• You may not launch watercraft or place a trailer in the water if it has aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited invasive species attached

• You may not transport watercraft without draining water, removing the drain plug, and leaving all water-draining devices open

MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 7A
Photos contributed Zebra mussels Invasive Yellow Iris in Commercial Bay
for Starry stonewort 3. Save the date and join us for the Manitou Days Summer Lake Clean-Up on June 15 4. Stay up to date: follow us on social media CALL TO ACTION Four ways you can help protect White Bear Lake now: HELP STOP AQUATIC HITCHHIKERS!
Starry stonewort bulbil
Search your shoreline for Invasive Yellow Iris
Department of

What Has WBLCD Been up to? 2023 Accomplishments

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

• Received a $6,750 cost-share grant from the DNR to survey and treat Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM).

• Contracted services to survey, assess and treat EWM, and invasive phragmites

Health, Safety and Lake Management

• Placed and monitored buoys on WBL and created a buoy location map

• Reimbursed municipalities for treatment of swimmer’s itch

• Contracted with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Water Patrol to provide supplemental monitoring and enforcement of safety concerns on the lake

• Collaborated with the DNR conservation officer to provide enforcement of safety concerns on the lake

• Conducted a survey to identify the Ordinary High Water Level (OHWL) and Authorized Dock Use Areas (ADUA) in Commercial Bay to establish a data baseline and ensure navigational safety

• Monitored transient watercraft rental operations for safety and permit compliance

• Participated in the Rice Creek Watershed District’s Community Resilience Building Workshop Series to identify opportunities to build resilience in the watershed related to local climate change

• Sponsored the annual winter lake cleanup with Mahtomedi Boy Scout Troop 89


• Contracted services to conduct an audit for the year ending 2020, resulting in a clean and excellent rating

• Updated the 2024 license fee schedule and streamlined commercial and noncommercial single- and multi-user dock permit applications for ease of use

• Processed, managed, approved and monitored permit applications for six (6) commercial marinas, 16 noncommercial single- and multiuser dock users, and nine events and lake use activities

• Facilitated conflict resolution between shoreline property owners and marinas regarding dock and navigational issues


• Collaborated with the White Bear Press in its new publication, The Laker, to provide lake users, area residents, and lakeshore property owners with WBLCD information, lake use regulations and conservation measures

• Established a connection with the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District to share information regarding governance and lake safety issues

• Increased WBLCD communications to municipalities and constituents through its website, Facebook, Instagram, emails, and the White Bear Press

• Created WBLCD email addresses for Board of Directors for constituent communications

Let's Connect

• Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or check out our website

• Website:

• Facebook: “WBLCD”

• Instagram: “WBL Conservation District”

• Phone: (651) 429-8520

• Email:

8A THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024
Contributed Sampling the lake for aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil.



Birchwood Music in the Park

When: 6-7:30 p.m. Sundays, June 2 through Aug. 25

Where: Tighe-Schmitz Park, Birchwood

Details: All are welcome to bring a lawn chair or blanket, picnic and beverage and listen to a different performance each week. The Riff Rangers on June 2, Any Day Now on June 9, Harmonic Relief on June 16, Scottie Miller on June 23, Sweet Rhubarb on June 30.


Midwest Ski Otters Shows

When: 6 p.m. Sundays, June 9 through end of August

Where: Little Goose Lake

Details: White Bear-based team of 120 amateur skiers performs weekly throughout the summer. Contact:

Bald Eagle Waterski Shows

When: 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 13 through end of August

Where: Trailside Park, Centerville Details: Volunteer team of waterskiers performs weekly throughout the summer, and travels throughout Minnesota to perform weekend shows. Contact:


When: 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, June 13 through July 25

Where: Downtown White Bear Lake

Details: Community summer festival with 200+ food and vendor booths, live music, car show, kids activities, specials at local merchants. Theme weeks include: Avenue of the Arts on June 13; History Night June 20, and White Bear Lake Area Schools June 27. Contact:

Marketfest Music at 4

Deuces Saloon

When: 4-9 p.m. Thursdays, June 13July 25

Where: 4 Deuces Saloon, 2222 Fourth Street, White Bear Lake

Details: Happy hour and DJ playing 70's and 80's rock from 4 to 6 p.m.; live music 6 to 9 p.m. including Ben Johnson Country on June 13; PK Mayo Band on June 20; and Galactic Cowboy Orchestra on June 27.

Contact: marketfest-music-at-4-deuces-saloon

High performance racing starts June 3.



Black Bear Yacht Racing Association

Keelboat racing on White Bear Lake (Mahtomedi Bay) begins May 21 through end of September

Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and every other Saturday at noon Go to for information and schedule

White Bear Yacht Club Sailing Division

Scow racing season begins May 29 on White Bear Lake

• A Scows: 6:30 p.m. Mondays

• C Scows, Cat boats, E Scows, MC Scows: Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

• Melges 15 Scows: Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

• C Scows, MC Scows: Saturdays at 10 a.m.

• Cat boats: Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.

• E Scows: Sundays at 10 a.m.

• Laser Sailboats: Sundays at 2 p.m. Go to for information and schedule

Mahtomedi Area Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, June 22 through Sept. 28

Where: Veterans Memorial Park

Details: Local growers, artisans, community resources. Contact: mahtomedimarket.wixsite. com/mahtmarket

White Bear Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m.-noon Friday, June 28 through Oct.

Where: Clark Street between Second

and Third Streets

Details: More than 50 vendors and growers each week. Contact:

Music by the Water

When: 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays

Where: Tally's Dockside, 4441 Lake Avenue S.

Details: Live music on the lakeside patio. See lineup online. Contact:

Summer Solo Series

When: Sunday afternoons

Where: The Dugout, 96 Mahtomedi Avenue

Details: Local acoustic artists perform on the patio.



Mayhem Regatta

When: Noon Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26

Where: White Bear Lake

Details: Kick off to the Black Bear Yacht Racing Association keelboat sailboat racing season.


Mahtomedi Memorial Day Ceremony

When: 10 a.m. Monday, May 29

Where: Veterans Memorial Park

Details: American Legions will hold ceremony to honor veterans; no parade or pancake breakfast this year due to road construction.

Contact: 651-426-3344

“19th Annual 10-minute Play Festival”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays, May 30-June 9

Where: Hanifl Performing Arts Center, 4941 Long Ave., White Bear Lake

Details: See 10 never-before-seen plays from around the world performed by Lakeshore Players actors.

Contact: 651-478-7427 or

Yogadevotion on the Beach

When: 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, June 12-July 26

Where: Chautauqua Park, 76 Quail Street, Mahtomedi

Details: Drop-in classes to move mind, body and spirit through gentle yoga practices. Runs for 7 weeks; register online.


Buck Up Freestyle Professional Jump Tour

When: 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1

Where: Little Goose Lake

Details: White Bear is host to the third stop of the 2023 Buck Up Tour, a national waterski jumping competition. Contact: buckupfreestyle

MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 9A ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ SHORE LEAVE | EVENTS



Greenhorn Wednesday

Series Bass Tournament

When: 5-8:45 p.m. June 5

Where: White Bear Lake

Details: Approximately 50 entrants participate as part of the Twin Citiesbased nonprofit Bass fishing league. Contact:

Metro Muskie Tournament

When: 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Bald Eagle Lake

Details: Cash prizes and Junior division. Participate on 21 Twin Cities Metro-area lakes. Register by June 7. Contact:

Kiddie Parade

When: 6:15-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13

Where: Downtown White Bear Lake

Details: Families can decorate a stroller, wagon, and bikes and walk/ ride through the streets of Marketfest ending at Sweetlife Lane candy store. Register online.


Fillebrown Fridays

When: 10 a.m.-noon Fridays, June 14, 21, 28

Where: Fillebrown House, 4735 Lake Ave.

Details: Self-guided tour of the 1879 Red Chalet Cottage on White Bear Lake and refreshements on the porch. Contact:

Manitou Days Grande Parade

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 14

Where: Begins at Fourth Street and Washington Square; ends at Memorial Beach

Details: Floats, marching bands, local organizations, and more travel through downtown and along Lake Avenue toward the beach.


Beach Dance

When: 8-11 p.m. Friday, June 14

Where: Memorial Beach

Details: Enjoy live music by the Free & Easy Band. Food and beverages. Contact:



Classes: E scow, Hobie Cat, Laser

Regular Season Racing

Tuesdays 6:30 a.m. (E scow) Wednesdays 6:30 a.m. (Lasers)

Saturdays 10 a.m. (Hobie, E scow/ every other)

Sundays 1 p.m. (Hobie, E scow/every other)

Other Races

• Laser Distance Races

Saturdays, June 22, July 20, Aug 17 at 3 p.m.

• Holiday Race Schedule (Es and Hobies)

Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day

Saturday 10 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m., Monday 10 a.m.

• Bald Eagle Regatta (Hobies, Es) Sponsored by Hobie Fleet 52, BEYC, July 13 and 14

Manitou Days Children's Fishing Contest

When: June 15-July 7

Where: White Bear Lake, Bald Eagle Lake, Goose Lake, Otter Lake, Birch Lake

Details: Free fishing contest for youth ages 15 and under runs through July 4. Fish on your own schedule. Five prize categories and free goody bag for every angler. Contact: 651-705-8600 or

2024 WBLCD Lake Clean Up

When: 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 15

Where: White Bear Lake – water and shoreline

Details: Community members are invited to get out on the lake in a watercraft or walk the shoreline to pick up trash. Contact:

Yoga on the Beach

When: 8 a.m. Saturday, June 15

Where: Memorial Beach, 4980 Lake Avenue

Details: Annual fundraiser for the White Bear Area Food Shelf. RSVP and donation requested. Contact:

• Frostbite Series (all classes) Weekends in September, 1 p.m.

Other events open to the public

• Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast Sunday, June 16, 9 a.m.–noon 5500 E. Bald Eagle Blvd. Contact Russell Dedrick for more information:, 651-3031891 (text only)

• 125th Anniversary Celebration Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6-9 p.m. Stillwater Paddle Co. Contact John Suchomel for more information: jsuchomel_work@, 651-253-3887

Sandcastles and Creatures Building Contest

When: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 15

Where: Memorial Beach

Details: Gather family and friends to build a sandcastle, sand creature, or sand sculpture in a free event hosted by White Bear Center for the Arts. Prizes awarded at noon.


MN Junior B.A.S.S. Northeast Metro Conference Open

When: 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, June 17

Where: White Bear Lake

Details: Tournament includes Northeast Metro High School fishing teams of two on approximately 40 boats.

Contact: minnesotajuniorbassnation. com

White Bear Lake Classic & Vintage Boat Show

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 22

Where: Lakefront of the White Bear Lake Shopping Center, 4391 Lake Avenue S.

Details: Display of classic and vintage boats-inboards, outboards, row boats

and sailboats. Live fishing and “ask and expert” fisherman, vendors, nautical market, food, and vendors. Contact: WhiteBearPress

Manitou Triathlon

When: 6:30 a.m. Sunday, June 23

Where: White Bear Lake County Park, 5050 Lake Avenue

Details: 4 race options include swim, bike and run of various lengths. Community barbecue follows race. Details and registration information online.


White Bear High School: Reunited!

When: 6-7 p.m. June 24

Where: White Bear Lake Library, 2150 Second Street

Details: After 40 years the 2 high school campuses will be reunited in the fall of 2024. Program reflects on the past and what is changing.



and Vendor Fair

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 29

Where: Hippodrome Ice Arena, 4855 Bloom Avenue

Details: Crafters, makers, boutiques, and vendors.

Contact: sunriseeventsandcraftshows. com

Keegans 5K for Craniosynostosis Awareness

When: 9 a.m. Sunday, June 30

Where: West Park, 2350 11th Street

Details: Noncompetitive 5K run/walk along the lake organized by local family. Contact: keegans5kforcranioawareness

Annual Pet Parade and Blessings

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30

Where: St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church, 2175 First Street

Details: Pet parade followed by blessing. Pet-friendly outdoor worship service at 10 a.m.


10A THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024

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MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 11A
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12A THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024

Vol. 2 • No. 1



Still a beauty at 100

One of the oldest boats navigating White Bear Lake has to be Jesse Okie’s 1923 Herreshoff 12-1/2.

Built in Rhode Island by Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., the 16-foot sailboat is known as the 12-½ for its waterline length. The designer was Nathanael Green Herreshoff, who is considered a giant of early 20th Century yacht designs. His company built a wide range of vessels between 1880 and 1946 –from America’s Cup contenders to small sailboats, to steam and power yachts and world war naval vessels.

Okie’s “Cricket” is one of maybe 300 12-1/2s built by the company over the decades. Designed in 1914 and originally known as the Buzzards Bay Boys Boat, they quickly became popular with parents and grandparents. It has 735 pounds of lead in the keel, which makes the boat virtually uncapsizable. That safety feature alone made the sailboat particularly popular for East Coast sailors young and old who plied the ocean winds on Buzzards Bay, off Cape

Cod, Massachusetts, and from Maine to Florida.

“A lot of people learned how to sail on these and they continue to be raced, enthusiastically, on the East Coast,” Okie said. “They’re like the X-boat for us.”

The Lake Avenue resident bought “Cricket” 20 years ago after friend Dave Wiencke spotted her for sale in a White Bear Township driveway. She had been purchased and renovated in the ‘80s at a marina on Cape Cod and brought to Minnesota. Okie is the fifth owner.

The gaff rigging is old-fashioned and unusual for boats in this area, he said.

“The mast is shorter and the sail is foursided instead of triangular. It’s not so good for racing upwind, but great on all other points of sail.”

Planking is white cedar and the mast is Sitka spruce, the best wood for spars, Okie noted. A roomy cockpit seats six with benches along both sides and white oak coaming providing a perfect backrest. “It’s very comfortable and safe,” he added. “The lead in the keel makes it very stable. In a scow, if you’re not concentrating, you can be in trouble fast. They tip over all the time. This boat is safe. It’s nice in my older years to feel safe.”

Okie raced “Cricket” a few times on White Bear in handicap heats, but admits he lacks that “competitive spirit.”

He prefers to think of himself as “the museum piece floating around the lake” and enjoys returning waves from other boaters or watching the A-boat races.

“Sailors know the Herreshoff history,” Okie pointed out. “He’s probably the best-known boat designer in the United States.”

The century-old sailboat does require painting and “bright work” varnishing every spring, something Okie enjoys, but it does delay launching. A major restoration is needed about every 30 years. Normally stored in his backyard, “Cricket” spent the winter at BoatArt in Lake St. Croix Beach getting her first professional refurbishment since Okie bought her in 2003 — her centenary “birthday present.” He hopes to have her in the water by end of May.

CronaCraft a chance ‘barn find’

Call it serendipitous, but when a relative told Denny Trooien and wife Sue Ahlcrona that he saw a 1957 CronaCraft on Craig’sList, they were immediately interested. “It was a barn find,” explained Trooien, who explained the term is used by boat

collectors who discover abandoned or neglected classics in an old shed. In this case, the small boat was near Brainerd and in tough shape, but they recognized it.

As the CronaCraft’s story goes, the 14foot runabout was built by Sue’s father, Edgar Ahlcrona, who owned Tonka Bay Boat Works from 1947 to 1972. Only a handful were made and only two are left in existence. One now belongs to the White Bear Lake couple and one belongs to Sue’s sister.

What makes the CronaCraft unique is its mahogany and fir construction. “By 1957, a lot of boats were fiberglass,” according to Trooien. “This was one of the remaining manufacturers still making smaller wooden boats. It’s also unique in the sense our boat has the largest outboard you could buy at the time, a maroon and white 35 hp Johnson SeaHorse.”

Trooien and his brother Terry, a retired St. Paul cop, spent four years of weekends restoring the craft. “We restored it in Ed’s honor and kept the boat’s name: ‘Edgar A.’”

The CronaCraft was displayed at the 2023 Minneapolis Boat Show at the invitation of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. Sue’s father is pictured on the vintage placard that reads “Welcome aboard.”


MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 1B
Photos contributed Pre-WWII Hackercraft is all original. CronaCraft on display at Minneapolis Boat Show. Jesse Okie sails the 1923 Herreshoff with his faithful crew member on White Bear Lake. In addition to a modern nylon spinnaker, “Cricket” came with an ancient silk genoa jib which can be set like a spinnaker.


Rare Hackercraft popular at show

The couple also own a rare 1937 triple cockpit Hackercraft, a popular attraction at the White Bear Lake Annual Classic & Vintage Boat Show (winning the People’s Choice award in 2022). The exquisite mahogany craft was purchased in 2019 from a classic boat business in Lake Tahoe. It is the only one left of its year.

Trooien said he always intended to get another antique boat after selling his father-in-law’s ’48 ChrisCraft. “We had Edgar’s 22-foot ChrisCraft on White Bear Lake before we had our first child,” he recalled. “It would remind you of boats in (the movie) Golden Pond. We decided to sell it after we had our first child. I was a young lawyer at the time and couldn’t afford to have it fixed. I swore someday I would get another old Woodie when we were empty nesters. So I started looking for pre-WWII boats. Then we found the Hackercraft. We use that boat a lot.”

Restored by its previous owner in 2004, the Hackercraft is totally authentic, even down to its horsehair seats.

Called “Bootlegger,” the 24-footer is featured in a book about Hackercraft and

mentioned on the company’s website as among “the finest mahogany boats ever built.”

Peppy little hydroplanes

Vintage hydroplanes seen zipping around Bald Eagle Lake likely belong to John Stasieluk, who owns a collection of the ‘60s-era boats.

“I’ve always loved race boats and hydroplanes,” noted Stasieluk, who discovered two of the small plywood boats years ago rotting and abandoned.

“You have the feel of a fast boat, but they’re safe. They won’t sink and they’re really fun. They sit 3 inches above the water and skip across the lake.”

Stasieluk, with help from daughters Dana and Leah, restored two MiniMax hydroplanes back to like-new condition, as well as his favorite, a 1950 Hal Kellydesigned Wetback. The MiniMax goes about 25 mph with a 10 hp motor and the faster 9-foot Wetback race model goes about 38 mph with a 20 hp motor. “It cooks,” he said. A 1976 Kreir is also part of his hydro collection.

Hydroplane racing started decades ago in the ‘20s and ‘30s, according to Stasieluk. They became popular again post-WWII when soldiers looking for fun on the water rediscovered them.

Advertisements in the mid ‘60s stated, “build the boat in 20 hours for $20.”

A sturdy post and beam outbuilding behind Stasieluk’s 95-year-old Tudor home was featured in the White Bear Press five years ago. He built the barn so he could work on boats, particularly hydroplanes.

Chris-Craft’s third owner

Owners Ken Kixmoeller and wife Kim Otness of Birchwood bought “Just For Kix” a decade ago. The 1950 ChrisCraft

Special first belonged to a Minnesota teenager who loved wooden boats so much he scrimped and saved to buy her, with permission from his father, of course. He didn’t use the special long before going off to war in Korea, Kixmoeller said. Long story short, the man eventually moved to the west coast and took the 16-foot Chris-Craft with him, keeping it on Lake Tahoe. When it became clear the lake was too big for the boat, the original owner, who had


MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 3B ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ PORT OF CALL 803568
Dana Stasieluk's hydroplanes sit 3 inches above the water and skip across the lake. Photos contributed Just For Kix was restored in 2020.


no children, kept the Chris-Craft in the family by giving it to his nephew. The second owner basically left it in storage.

“Our wives were friends,” Kixmoeller recalled. “They were moving to Palm Springs and asked if we would want the boat? We agreed sight unseen.”

After paying an exorbitant storage bill, Kixmoeller had the 70-year-old woodie and its 191 hp motor restored by Kirk Lillie in Little America. They also renamed the boat. “That is a whole ritual in itself,” he warned. “It’s similar to launching a boat. Champagne is involved and respects must be paid to the original owner. There is a lot of tradition with nautical stuff.”

The boat is a pride and joy, added Kixmoeller. “We go out for rides and people wave and smile. People come up to me and want the boat’s story. They’re always asking. These old boats are always an object of fascination.”

StabiCraft first in state

Picking up his StabiCraft required a marathon road trip to Everett, Washington, but Peter Parato couldn’t be more pleased. A first-time boat owner, Parato researched fishing-type vessels and came across the New

Zealand-made launch on YouTube. “I noticed how different it looks. The boat has sharp lines and a unique triple hull made of foam-filled sealed compartments. It is unsinkable,” he said.

The StabiCraft’s safety features were its main attraction for Parato who was looking for a versatile family boat that could be used in big water. It also has features any fisherman would desire: cup and pole holders, a cutting board table, live well with viewing portal and comfortable seating for five adults.

It was love at first sight for Parato, who bought the boat at a Washington state dealership. His stepfather came along to share driving duties when they picked up the 16-foot 1550 Frontier. They arrived at BoatWorld Friday, April 26 and had the craft on White Bear Lake that Sunday. It came with a 75 hp Honda motor.

“I had a lot of eyes on me (that day on White Bear) wondering what the vessel was,” Parato said. “I think it will be attractive to a lot of fishermen.” He described the boat this way: “It will allow me to explore with confidence in a vessel that looks like a transformer. It’s really cool looking.” He and wife Sheila have decided to call their new purchase “El Nino.”

The Frontier model ranges in price from $40,000 to $60,000, depending on options. More info can be found at

Every day’s a picnic

As the self-proclaimed mayor on White Bear Lake, Pat Igo spends a lot of time on the water.

His favorite mode of transportation is pontoon, either the larger, palm-tree adorned “Rita Mae,” named for his late

mother, or “Picnic One.”

Made from repurposed materials, the picnic table pontoon seats five and is propelled by a 3.6 hp ’57 Scott Atwater motor. “It’s cool looking and fun,” said Igo, who grew up in White Bear Lake. The retired grandfather of five jokes


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Peter Parato takes his StabiCraft on White Bear Lake for its maiden voyage. Photos contributed
Every day's a picnic on Pat Igo's homemade pontoon.


about his unofficial title of mayor, noting, “As soon as I get to shore, I have no power.” He describes his duties as “making sure everyone gets along and has a good time.”

Electric Duffy boat

First built in 1970, the Duffy was invented by Marshall “Duffy” Duffield who lived in Newport Beach. According

to its website, the Duffy is the “original luxury electric boat.” Beverley Driscoll owns one. Media mogul Stanley Hubbard gave the boat to her late husband Fletcher years ago. The two attended Breck School together and were friends. Hubbard’s wife also grew up on White Bear Lake and he told the Driscolls the Duffy “belonged on the lake,” Bev said.

“It doesn’t go fast, maybe 9 mph, but it’s quiet and can hold about 12 people. And it’s old fashioned,” she added. “A Duffy looks like a boat from the 1920s. They aren’t common but they’re nice. They’re like a pontoon boat. You just need a way to charge them.”

Joan II one of a kind

The 1939 cruiser built by Norwegian boat builder John O. Johnson returned to its roots in 2022 after owners had her completely restored. Johnson, of course, is known for building racing sailboats out of his Lake Avenue boat works.

Co-owner Pete Sampair, who admits an addiction to wooden boats, moors “Joan II” at the Mahtomedi home of Gene and Marcia Altstatt. Gene is active in the A-scow community and agreed to keep the boat if it was available for

sailing events. “It worked out great,” Sampair said. “It’s a perfect spot.”

Someday, maybe next year, Sampair would like to recreate the trip Johnson and his wife Ann took back in 1940 when they voyaged down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and then on to St. Petersburg, Florida. He recently installed heat and AC and a generator, in preparation.

For now though, Sampair enjoys giving people rides just to see the smiles on their faces.

The Admiral a no show

Missing in action on White Bear Lake for several years now, “The Admiral” will not go in the water this year.

Owner Brian McGoldrick blames low water levels, saying it would be impossible to get the 63-foot boat launched. ◼

MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 5B ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ PORT OF CALL
File photo The restored JoanII is back on the water. Contributed The Duffy was a gift to the Driscolls. File photo
The Admiral won't launch this year.


Altstatt, who owns “The Robinson”, said spectators need to stay out of the line in which boats are sailing. “Use common sense. And don’t park a fishing boat next to one of the buoys. That always seems to happen,” he said. Watch for these boats on race days, listed as follows with each skipper, or “driver”.

• C-1 Firebolt - Tom Austin

• W-2 The Robinson - Trevor Taylor

• W-4 Firenze - Ted Jagger

Special Champ Post season Driscoll Memorial Regattas of note

June 21-23 A-scow nationals, Lake Geneva, Wis.

Aug. 3-4, 11 a.m. interlake with Lake Minnetonka

Aug. 11-14 ILYA A-scow championship, Clear Lake, Iowa

The summer racing season begins June 3, weather permitting, for the high-performance A-scows, a sailboat that originated on White Bear Lake. The lake in fact, boasts the largest fleet in North America with nine scows.

Johnson Boat Works founder, J.O. Johnson, designed and built the first racing A-boat in 1900 for a wealthy businessman on Manitou Island named C. Milton Griggs. Named the Minnezitka, the boat went on to win the White Bear Lake Championship that year and cemented Johnson’s reputation as a boat builder.

The sleek scows are not for the inexperienced sailor. Thirty-eight feet long with no keel, the flat-bottomed boats are so light, they can be scary. Six people plus a skipper are required to crew an A. Crew members must be nimble, strong and able to multi-task.

One person mans the jib, another the boards, two operate chute and controls and a fifth the main sail. Most skippers have years of prior experience sailing E scows, a smaller version of the flat-bottomed boat.

Asked about spectator etiquette, the Yacht Club’s fleet liaison, Gene

6B THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 RIGGINGS ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼
These flat-bottomed boats are so light, they can be scary.
June 3 2 June 10 2 2 June 17 2 2 June 24 2 2
No July 1 race July 8 2 2 July 15 2 2 July 22 2 2 July 29 2 2 August 5 1 Champ (makeup) 1
August 12 1 Champ (makeup) 1
August 19 1 1 August 26 1 1 September 9 1 September 16 1 September 22 (2 p.m.) 1 September 22 (3 p.m.) 1


• W-7 Gryphon - Steve Johnson

• W-8 Amen - Jason Brown

• W-9 G&T - Greg Nuss

• W-25 Euphoria - Lee Alnes

• W-28 Snitch - George Moore

• W-88 Asylum - Louie Hill ◼

MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 7B
805557 803365
Debra Neutkens | Press Publications These 38-foot scows have a six-person crew plus skipper.
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2 • No. 1


Generations that share ancestry have lived at 4601 Lake Ave. since it was built in the 1890s.

Colleen and Fred Espe have lived in the house for 13 years. Before they bought it, Fred’s parents, Fred, senior, and Gerry Espe, lived there for 37 years.

According to Colleen, four families have lived in the lovely Victorian during the past 130 years.  “Fred’s Great-Aunt Abby (Amundson) Howe’s grandparents built it as a summer home.”

Abby’s paternal grandfather was Gus Amundson, who founded the original boat works in White Bear Lake in 1887. He lived at 403 Lincoln Ave. and opened his first shop behind his homestead before relocating his boat works to the lake. It was the family of

Abby’s mother, Helen Torinus, who built the Lake Avenue home. They were in the lumber business in Stillwater, which was pretty industrial at the time, and quite fond of their lakeside getaway.

“Abby’s dad Fritjof Amundson, Gus’ son, was a banker, and eventually this was their home,” Colleen said. “One interesting fact is that Abby’s mom got engaged to Fritjof on the porch swing, which is still in the same spot.”

A visit with ‘almostcentenarian’ Howe

Colleen and Fred were kind enough to arrange a visit with Fred’s Great-Aunt Abby, who lives at St. Andrew’s Village in Mahtomedi. A delightful woman, she is “almost 100”, and full of knowledge.

Howe recalled that her grandfather Gus Amundson joined the Norwegian Navy when he was 13, leaving his home in Vanersborg, Norway, which she has visited. He started Amundson Boat Works in White Bear Lake in 1887 after immigrating to America five years earlier at age 22 and was involved in the

business until he died in 1937.

“I loved going to the boat works and smelling that wood,” Howe recalled. “They had a big barrel of steam water, and they would dip slabs of wood in it to bend them.

“I also remember going to their house on Lincoln Avenue. They owned the small house on the corner. My uncle lived on another corner, and my aunts lived nearby.”

When Abby married Richard (Dick) Howe, she lived on his family farm on the west side of White Bear. They had five boys, and eventually sold 20 acres of land to the City of White Bear Lake for Podvin Park, which was named after Al Podvin, who also lived on Lake Avenue.

Podvin was a civic leader, and


MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 1C THE L KER
Paul Dols | Press Publications The wrap-around porch provides a rare 180-degree lake view. Paul Dols | Press Publications 1890's era leaded glass window.

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There was a time when heading “up north” meant traveling as far as White Bear Lake, an area quickly becoming a booming resort destination in the late 1800s.

Wood-burning locomotives transported city dwellers into the area as early as 1868, shaving hours off a trip that would take hours by horse and buggy. By 1887, there were 13 tracks through White Bear used by 36 passenger and eight freight trains every day, with added service on Sundays.

The Lake Shore Depot, the first railroad stop on White Bear, was built

in 1885 by the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad. Described as an “ornate building” in “Looking Back at White Bear Lake,” by Cynthia Vadnais, the depot, also known as Cottage Park Depot, was located near what is now the White Bear Shopping Center. It was a stopping-off point for visitors going to the lake to picnic, to boat or to stay at one of the resorts.

Ramaley Pavilion was steps away from the depot in the area of the present-day VFW. It started as a refreshment stand with changing rooms and was replaced in 1890 with a

grander structure that included a large auditorium.

Named for its builder, John D. Ramaley, the tourist destination was billed as an amusement and refreshment pavilion in Lake Breeze (precursor to the White Bear Press) advertisements. An ad appearing in 1890 touted the construction as “erected at great expense to fill a much-needed requirement.” It went on to describe auditorium seating for 2,000 in “comfortable Opera Chairs, Proscenium Boxes and a fully appointed stage 30 by 40, that

compares with any modern opera house.”

The 150- by 400-foot building, which reportedly cost $40,000 to build and $35,000 to furnish, also had a huge dance hall, lunchroom and rooms to rent that ran around the perimeter.

The first concert “to at once popularize this place of amusement,” featured the Seibert Orchestra “commencing on June 6, 1890.”

The ad also noted arrangements had been made with the St. Paul and Duluth


MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 3C ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ LOG BOOK
Photos by WBLAHS | contributed A four-horse Tally-Ho in front of the Ramaley Pavilion, circa 1900. John D. Ramaley built a majestic pavilion in 1890, a short walk away from the Lake Shore Depot seen in the foreground.


The pavilion’s water toboggan slide can be seen in the far right corner of this photo.

Railroad for special trains on concert nights at a reduced fare of 30 cents.

The pavilion “offered the feel of a grand central station,” said Sara Markoe-Hanson, with a depot, streetcar and auditorium. Steamboats would dock at the pavilion to transport visitors across the lake to Mahtomedi’s Wildwood Amusement Park and other points of interest.

Eleven years before Ramaley built the grand pavilion, the railroad built a 40- by 50-foot lakeside building where Veteran’s Park exists today. Ramaley operated the business, called Ramaley’s Lake Shore Refreshment Pavilion, “for the pleasure of those seeking the sanctuary of the lake,” as noted in the Vadnais book. The operation also boasted 48 bathrooms. By 1889, the Manitoba, a large steamboat owned by Ramaley, ran regularly scheduled routes that were timed with the arrival of the trains to carry passengers across the lake to Mahtomedi. Pleasure tours around the lake, offered through Ramaley’s

White Bear Navigation Company, cost a quarter for a round trip ticket.

The 80-foot steamer White Bear, owned and captained by J. Eugene (Gene) Ramaley, John’s son, and the Wildwood were also part of the fleet. As a sidenote, Gene opened the Ramaley Boat Company on White Bear Lake in 1895. He moved the operation to Lake Minnetonka in 1925 and sold it four years later. The White Bear property, in the vicinity of Lions Park today, became Ramaley’s Winter Garden, a dance hall and gambling parlor with parking for 300 cars. Ramaley Pavilion was razed in 1908 to make way for apartments. As reported in White Bear Life (which replaced the Lake Breeze), “Considerable progress is being made on the demolition of Ramaley Pavilion. Soon, this fine but unprofitable edifice will be a thing of the past.” Eventually, the apartments, too, were removed and replaced with Veteran’s Memorial Park. ◼


The annual event draws a large crew each April, to socialize, play games, bid on silent auction items, swag and enjoy dinner and drinks. Dinner proceeds support the BEAA mission – to improve the water quality and usability of Bald Eagle Lake and the surrounding area. BEAA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which raises money for weed control and prevention, aquatic invasive species control, boat launch inspections and overall water quality improvement projects. For more information, visit

4C THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024
◼ ◼
Photos by WBLAHS | contributed Ramaley’s Lake Shore Refreshment Pavilion 1885. Contributed Bald Eagle Area Association’s successful fundraising dinner captains Sue Wade, Bridget Cavanaugh, Deb Donovan and Brad Mason. Apartments were later built on the site of the pavilion next to Hwy. 61. It is now Veteran’s Memorial Park.


according to the White Bear Press, owned White Bear Motor Sales from 1925 to 1955 at Fourth and Cook Avenue. In 1945, he opened the area’s first Ford dealership, which he later sold to Herb Tousley. He died in 1981 at the age of 89.

Howe’s other Lake Avenue remembrance was of her uncle Al Warner who lived at 4763 Lake Ave., across from Matoska Park. “He got shot in a bank robbery in 1931 when he tried to stop it,” Howe recalled. That house was eventually sold to William and Violet Wahlquist. After they passed, the house was torn down and a new home was built there in 2022. (There is a great account of the bank robbery from the White Bear Press on p. 188 of Cynthia Vadnais’ book “Looking Back at White Bear Lake.”)

Family preserves home’s features

Much of the Amundson home has been preserved, yet it exudes the clean, open look so many homeowners seek today. And the wrap-around porch provides a rare, almost 180-degree view


MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 5C 805726
Paul Dols | Press Publications
The kitchen has original "tip outs" for flour and potatoes, and a trap door to a cistern.


of the lake.

“The home has been remodeled, but many of the features that make it so charming remain,” Colleen said. “Our oak floors have been redone, and the plaster walls have been skim coated.”

Fred still has a bottle, which hasn’t been uncorked, from one of the walls, found when remodeling.

“There are tip-outs for flour and potatoes, and a trap door to a cistern.”

The dining room is now in the former

living room, and the windows on the wraparound porch have been replaced. While some things have changed at 4601 Lake Ave., one thing has remained very much the same, the family’s care for their home and their heritage.

Nelson expects to publish a book on the history of Lake Avenue homes in 2025. For a link to her website and blog, see ◼


6C THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024
Established 1973 | MN LIC. # BC000001 REMODELING Building Homes Since 1973 651-429-8032 Your Story Begins Here.... 803360
Paul Dols | Press Publications The home was built by a family in the lumber business in Stillwater. Contributed Front Porch. Contributed
◼ ◼ ◼ ◼
Abby and Dick Howe in 1945.
MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 7C Call today for a free in home estimate 651-484-1176 | 1803 Buerkle Rd. Suite 101 White Bear Lake, Mn 55110 | The Blind Guys 25% OFF ALL NEW FOR 2024 ONE ROOM FREE QUOTES * *with purchase of 3 rooms or more. HONEYCOMB SHADES PLANTATION SHUTTERS NATURAL SHADES 805567 3865 Highway 61 N. White Bear Lake • 651-426-4433 FROM PROJECTS TO PARTIES, WE CAN HELP! 2023 of the Press White Bear Lake Vadnais Heights 3865 Highway 61 N |1.5 Miles North of 694 on HWY 61 651.426.4433 Open 7 Days a Week! Local Family-Owned & Operated Curbside Service We load or unload Reserve Equipment by phone Call us when you arrive 805797 Pontoon Trailer Rental Save Time.Why travel 20 minutes north to rent a trailer when you can rent it locally. Save time and miles with an hourly rental.
Lynn Nelson | Contributed
Abby Amundson Howe, with great-nephew Fred, left, and son Paul, right. Abby is the granddaughter of Gustav Amundson, founder of Amundson Boat Works.


Minnesota’s state bird returned to White Bear Lake in late March this year, ahead of schedule, kicking off a summer of loon watching. Birchwood loon photographer extraordinaire, Ellen Maas, captures a nesting mama loon recently in the Cove. The female crouched down on the nest as an eagle flew overhead. “It was quite gripping,” Maas said. “Fortunately, the eagle had a fish in its talons and was not interested in the loon.” A second loon pair is also incubating eggs on a nest near the peninsula. If all goes as planned, there should be two hatches during the third week of May. Maas also authors the popular Loon Chronicles feature in the White Bear Press.

8C THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 PORT OF CALL ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ 803570
Photos by Ellen Maas | Contributed


Members of the White Bear Lake Conservation District board of directors have one thing in common: They love the lake and want to protect it. Some have served more than 30 years; some have served one. All believe in the district mission to preserve White Bear Lake for future generations.

So who are the 10 volunteers who govern the lake? Each represents one of the five municipalities that surround White Bear Lake, a structure put in place when WBLCD was founded by an act of the state Legislature in 1971.

Each member is appointed by their respective city or township for three-year terms, with some tenures extending much longer, by choice.

Chair Bryan DeSmet, White Bear Township

One of the few board members who doesn’t live on the lake, DeSmet has served since 2012. He considers himself an “environmental guy” who enjoys volunteer work.

“I coached youth sports quite a bit when my (two) daughters were growing up so when that was over, I took the opportunity to get involved with the lake.”

Asked his goals for the conservation district, DeSmet said he wants to start gathering water quality data. “It’d be valuable to sample for more than the standard phosphorus, chlorophyll and clarity. We need to wrap our arms around water quality testing.”

A civil engineer, DeSmet specializes in water and wastewater consulting work. He is a South Dakota native and has lived in the township for 30 years. He also had good things to say about the current slate of directors. “We have a great board. Everyone is engaged. It helps the decision-making process.”

Vice Chair Meredith Walburg, Dellwood

In her third year on the board, Walburg is passionate about the lake. “I grew up on White Bear and I have the desire to protect it,” said the vice chair, who graduated from Mahtomedi High School. She thought the district was doing a great job but when an opening came up to represent Dellwood, Walburg felt she could contribute some fresh ideas and took it.

Her career as an optometrist is on hold right now as Walburg does communications consulting work for eyecare-based companies. She’s “thrilled to be working on this board” and says she is dedicated to doing a good job. Her focus is education as a member of that committee and she is “passionate” about outreach. Walburg took on social media duties and uses the platform to get useful information out to lake users. “We need buy-in from the community at large to protect this lake,” she maintained.

an IT specialist for Best Buy. Active on the lake utilization committee, Churchill lives on the lake and understands that ordinances regarding docks and authorized use areas are complicated subjects that get people upset. But it’s getting better. “People are learning they have to work together to make everything fair and that we are here to help.”

His goal, Churchill said, is to keep peace on the lake in an adult and neighborly way. “Everyone has a right to the lake. We just need fair processes that are normal and transparent so people understand their rights.”

Director Scott Costello, White Bear Lake

Secretary/Treasurer Mike Parenteau, White Bear Lake

but I want to make sure the lake remains a great resource and that we don’t abuse it for future generations.”

He also thinks it’s important to make sure people abide by the district’s rules and ordinances.

DeYoung bought a home on the lake eight years ago. He and wife Amy have two boys.

Director Mark Ganz, Mahtomedi

One of the longer serving board members, Parenteau was appointed in 2004. Asked why he continues to serve, the seasoned director (and official recorder of ice-out) replied, “I was born and raised in White Bear and had my business here. I have always enjoyed the lake and being on the conservation district is my way of giving back to my community.”

Now retired, Mike co-owned a family clothing store called Parenteau’s on the corner of Fourth Street and Banning from 1959 to 1997.

And his goals as a board member? Parenteau said he enjoys working to keep the lake clean, safe, open and usable for everyone.

Director Chris Churchill, Mahtomedi

A busy dad of three, Churchill has served on the board three years. He loves Mahtomedi and loves the lake he’s fished all his life. “I want to help take care of it,” said the White Bear grad, who is

Keeping invasive species out of White Bear Lake is Costello’s biggest concern. He came on the board 12 years ago, “about when people were whining about lake level.”

Chloride pollution is another major worry. “The amount of salt in the lake has doubled in the last 30 years,” Costello said. “It never goes down; it can’t go down. That’s a concern.”

As chair of the education committee, Costello works to bring awareness to lake users. “My thing is to keep the lake from being impaired,” said the retired research analyst. His job was to track technology trends, including generative artificial intelligence.

He is a member of a dock association, something that came with the deed to his house, but doesn’t live on the lake. Nor does he own a boat. Costello said he volunteered for the board position to preserve the lake for future generations and prevent invasive species from entering the lake. The work is “interesting,” he added. “It keeps me going.” He and wife Pam have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Director Darren DeYoung, Birchwood Village

"Volunteerism is good," said DeYoung, who carves out time from his position as a digital director at Hoist, a marketing agency in White Bear Lake, to not only serve on the district board, but also volunteer at his children’s White Bear school and his church.

“I didn’t have an agenda when I came to the WBLCD three years ago,

A quick response to why he joined the district board consisted of two words: “I serve.”

Ganz has been a director for 15 of the 21 years he’s lived in Mahtomedi. He joined the Marine Corps at 17 and coached youth sports for years. “I want to help the community. I love this lake,” he said.

Ganz is originally from South Carolina and a father of two adult children. He works for a biotechnology company called Dendreon that provides immune therapy for advanced prostate cancer. His goals as a director include emphasis on “politeness and lake etiquette. I’d like to see more of a golf course mentality for the lake,” Ganz said. “The other thing is water quality. We need to remind people that what you put on your yard goes into the lake.”

As chair of the Lake Utilization Committee, Ganz has been dealing with issues in Commercial Bay for years, but said it’s getting less complicated. “We’re bringing people to the table to talk and getting better at what we do.”

Director Diane Longville, White Bear Township

Another long-running member, Longville was appointed to the district board in 1989. She has lived her entire life in White Bear Lake and lived on the lake’s south shore for 45 years. A retired biology and physical science teacher for the Mounds View


MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 | THE LAKER 9C ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ FISHERY
Bryan DeSmet Meredith Walburg Mike Parenteau Chris Churchill Scott Costello Darren DeYoung Photos contributed Mark Ganz


school district, Longville’s goals on the board are to safeguard the lake’s A-waterquality rating and keep it safe for all users.

“It’s about being good neighbors and following DNR and WBLCD rules,” she said.

Mahoney agreed to serve for several reasons. “I’m interested in helping with lake issues and keeping the lake healthy. It’s a legacy to give our children,” she said.

The district’s role in preventing invasive species is an important one, said the retired Matoska elementary teacher, who singled out starry stonewort as a threat.

reader and enjoys traveling. “Lifelong learning is always important to me,” Mahoney said. “That’s what I like about the district. I’ve learned a lot about the lake and invasive species. The board has done a great job handling that issue.”

“Lake level is a concern,” she added, “but it’s been lower in the 40 years we’ve been here.”

a vacancy on the board a year ago, Wisniewski said it was “Mike Parenteau who twisted my arm,” to volunteer. The two are part of the early morning diehard group who water ski on White Bear Lake. In the winter, he’s on crosscountry skis.

“I firmly believe in the district’s mission to preserve and protect the lake for present and future generations,” Longville added. “That’s why I joined the board. The lake has always been an integral part of my experiences and we never want to take it for granted. We are fortunate to have this beautiful lake in our lives.”

Director Susie Mahoney, Birchwood Village

Appointed by the mayor 14 years ago,

She’d also like to see large wake boats kept in the middle of the lake to reduce damage to shorelines.

“I want the lake to be utilized by everyone in a considerate way,”

Mahoney and her husband Larry bought their Birchwood lake home 40 years ago, raising two daughters. She also volunteers for Bear Boating, is an avid

Director Mark Wisniewski, Dellwood

Like the other directors before him, Wisniewski wants future generations to enjoy the lake as he has. He’s lived by and on the lake for the last 18 years, moving to his current home in 2022.

When Dellwood was looking to fill

His interests on the board center on water quality, particularly irreversible chloride pollution. “I hope we can slow that trend,” Wisnieweski said.

A Stillwater High School grad and father of three, the Dellwood representative is CFO for a medical device company called Enterra Medical. He also volunteers as treasurer for the 1st Down! Foundation, a parent-led nonprofit to raise money for Mahtomedi’s football program.

The WBLCD was founded in 1971 by an act of the Minnesota Legislature. the WBLCD governs the lake on behalf of the five municipalities that surround it. ◼

10C THE LAKER | MAY 26 - JUNE 30, 2024 FISHERY ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ events at August 11 Clues available at 6:00 p.m. daily Strive Scholarship Taco John’s Run 8:00 a.m. Boatworks Commons Community Room 4459 Lake Ave S., WBL Yogadevotion on the Beach Check in 8:00 a.m. Practice 8:30 a.m. Memorial Beach, WBL Tennis Day 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central Middle School Tennis Courts Rotary Club of WBL Blood Drive 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. White Bear Lake Armory Progressive Community Garage Sale 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Locations to be determined Pickleball Mixer 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sunrise Park Middle School Bear Boating Blood Drive 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. White Bear Lake Armory - 2228 4th Street, WBL White Bear’s Notorious Gangsters 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Virtual program • Register at Ma Barker, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis & Baby Face Nelson. Sponsored by White Bear Lake Area Historical Society Farmers Market 8:00 a.m. - Noon • Clark Ave. between 2 nd & 3 rd St., WBL Every Friday through the end of October. Locally grown. We also offer Community Supported Agriculture. (CSA’s) 651-747-3650. Virtual Pub Crawl 6th • 6:30 p.m. members/$15 non-members Bear Lake Area Historical Society Register at Customer Appreciation Days Times vary by Store Downtown White Bear Lake Sponsored by Coldwell Banker Realty MANITOU Days 2 0 2 0 The White Bear Lake Classic & Vintage Boat Show 17th Annual Saturday, June 22, 2024 10 am to 3 pm White Bear Shopping Center (lakefront) Vintage Boat Displays | Nautical Market | Free Admission | Free Boat Registration Scan to Register Your Boat 803368
Debra Neutkens Diane Longville Susie Mahoney Photos contributed Mark Wisniewski

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