Forest Lake, Minnesota

Forest Lake is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States. It is 27 miles northeast of Saint Paul. The population was 18,375 at the 2010 census.[6] The 2018 population is 20,220.[3] It is on one of Minnesota's 100 largest lakes. The lake serves as the source of the Sunrise River.

City of Forest Lake

FL, Flake
"As Good As It Sounds"
Location of the city of Forest Lake
within Washington County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 45°16′34″N 92°59′5″W
CountryUnited States
  Total35.53 sq mi (92.01 km2)
  Land30.54 sq mi (79.09 km2)
  Water4.99 sq mi (12.92 km2)
912 ft (278 m)
  Density650.94/sq mi (251.33/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)651
FIPS code27-21770[4]
GNIS feature ID0643806[5]
WebsiteCity of Forest Lake

Interstate 35 and U.S. Highways 8 and 61 are three of the main routes in the community.

Other main routes include County Road 2–Broadway Avenue. Interstate 35 splits into Interstate Highways 35E and 35W just south of Forest Lake in Columbus. The junction is commonly called the Forest Lake Split.[7] The Forest Lake Split was the scene of the August 11, 2003 death of Herb Brooks, coach of the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team (Miracle on Ice).


Forest Lake began as a stop on the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad. The first train reached Forest Lake on December 23, 1868. The lake was so named for the abundant timber that lines its shores.[8] Forest Lake Township was organized on March 11, 1874; the first one-room school was built that year at the former location of city hall (220 N. Lake Street). The city of Forest Lake was incorporated on July 11, 1893 with 175 residents. In 2001, the city annexed the surrounding former Forest Lake Township.[9]

Forest Lake was known as one of the major summer resort areas of the upper Midwest in the late 1800s/early 1900s. The village had numerous hotels, including the Marsh Hotel, on North Shore Drive, which was host to U.S. President Grover Cleveland and future U.S. President William McKinley, as well as many world dignitaries. The steamship Germania sailed the Forest Lake chain of lakes in the late 1800s, and was a major tourist draw.[9]

Forest Lake is the birthplace of Log Cabin Syrup. Grocer Patrick J. Towle, who founded the company, lived in Forest Lake at the time.[10]

Minnesota's first Boy Scout troop was formed in Forest Lake in July 1910. It was one of the first officially chartered Boy Scout troops in the United States. In the spring of 1911 every scout in the Wolf Patrol achieved the rank of first-class, making this the first all first-class patrol in the country.[9]

President William Howard Taft had Forest Lake as one of his final two choices for his 1911 summer residence.[9]

Forest Lake was home to such gangsters as Ma Barker and Bugs Moran in the early 1930s. Barker lived in a cabin behind Lake Street, while Moran lived on North Shore Drive.[9]

Brothers Eddie and Roy Shipstad, founders of the Ice Follies, the first touring ice skating show, were residents of Forest Lake for much of their lives. Many early Ice Follies skaters came from Forest Lake.[9]

The original 1940s manufacturing site for the Toni Home Permanent was a former one-room schoolhouse located at Garen, Minnesota, off Highway 61, just south of Forest Lake. It was destroyed by fire in February 1951.[9]

The Forest Lake City Marching Band, formed in 1981 by Forest Lake High School alumni Steve Hursh and Brian Tolzmann and directed by longtime Forest Lake High School director Rollin Nelson, was a seven-time state, six-time Midwest region and national champion open class band. The 1983 band was later named the nation's best open class band of the decade. Willard Scott, NBC television personality, once called the band "The best band I've ever seen" during a television broadcast.[9]

The Forest Lake High School Marching Band performed in the 1987 and 1992 Pasadena Rose Parades, and the 1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was later disbanded, and returned in 2016 under the direction of Forest Lake High School alumnus and Southwest Junior High band teacher Jake Matheson.[11]

A 1920 certified proof of U.S. currency, issued by First National Bank of Forest Lake, depicting William McKinley and Hugh McCulloch, is part of the collection at the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution.[12]

A poem, "To The Aurora Borealis", written by Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda while visiting Forest Lake in 1927, appears in the book Songs of the Soul.[13]

Peter L. Jensen, inventor of the loudspeaker and founder of the Magnavox Company, was married at Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake in 1929.

An episode of actor Lee Marvin's television series The Lawbreakers titled "The Minneapolis Story" was filmed in Forest Lake in November 1963.[9]

The Forest Lake Split was seen in the original 1970 opening title sequence for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, when the "St. Paul to the left/Minneapolis to the right" sign was shown. Mary Tyler Moore Show writer Lorenzo Music, who grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, often traveled through Forest Lake, and thought a decision-making east/west sign would be ideal for the show's opening.[9]

The jerseys worn by the gold medal-winning Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team were made in Forest Lake by Norcon Manufacturing.[14]

One of the nine reported cases of a close encounter of the fourth kind in the U.S. for the year 1995 occurred in Forest Lake on August 19, 1995.[15]

The Hitching Post Motel, one mile (1.6 km) north of downtown Forest Lake, was featured in the 1996 Coen brothers film Fargo. It substitutes for a motel set in Bismarck, North Dakota where William H. Macy's character, Jerry Lundegaard, is arrested by the police.[16]

In a scene in the 1999 film Drop Dead Gorgeous (about a Minnesota beauty pageant), one character yells instructions to "Miss Forest Lake".[16]

2007 Kentucky Derby-winning horse Street Sense (horse) wore horseshoes made at St. Croix Forge in Forest Lake.[17]

Scenes from the 2008 movie Killer Movie, starring Kaley Cuoco, were filmed in Forest Lake.[16]

Portions of the 2012 film Best Man Down, starring Justin Long, Shelley Long, Tyler Labine, Addison Timlin and Jess Weixler, were filmed in Forest Lake early in 2011. One of these locations was the Forest Motel, near downtown Forest Lake.[16]


Forest Lake is squarely bound between the north–south lines formed by Lyons Street NE and Keystone Avenue North, and the east–west lines formed by 240th Street North and 180th Street North. Interstate 35 and U.S. Highways 8 and 61 are three of the main routes in Forest Lake.

Other main routes include County Road 2–Broadway Avenue.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.54 square miles (92.05 km2); 30.56 square miles (79.15 km2) is land and 4.98 square miles (12.90 km2) is water.[18]


Forest Lake has a high population of northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye, and many pan fish (bluegill, crappie, and perch). It also holds muskie, while the numbers are relatively low, the average size is becoming quite large, making for a trophy fishery. The city formerly hosted an annual ice fishing tournament known as Fishapalooza. Forest Lake was known as the bass capital of Minnesota during the 1960s and 1970s, with the official Minnesota bass opener taking place at Forest Lake several times. The ice fishing contests held on Forest Lake in the mid-1990s were reported to be the largest in the country.


The first newspaper, The Enterprise, was printed in 1903. It was changed in 1907 to The Forest Lake Advertiser and later to The Forest Lake Times,[19] in 1916, as it remains to this day. The Forest Lake Lowdown is another local paper.[20]


  • The Tin Man (the old Forest Lake water tower) was dismantled on November 9, 2006.
  • Lakeside Park (Located on the northwest side of the lake.)
  • Cedar Park, with its "Forest Dragon", installed in 2015.[21]
  • Just north of the Hitching Post Motel was the site of a Minnesota Highway Department historic marker which had this inscription: "Through this point from southeast to northwest extended the Indian Boundary as defined by the Prairie du Chien Treaty of 1825 as surveyed and marked by the government. To the south was Sioux country, to the north, Chippewa, but neither tribe paid much attention to the line."
  • Forest Lake is home to Minnesota's biggest black ash tree, which stands near Sunrise Creek, on North Shore Drive. The tree, which has held the title since 1998, stands 65 feet (20 m) tall and has a 47-foot (14 m) crown spread.
  • The Ballpark at Schumacher Field, located on one of the Independent School District 831 campuses, was named the 2016 Field of the Year for the state of Minnesota, and is one of eight 2016 finalists in the U.S. for High School Baseball Field of the Year.[22]

Other places of interest

  • Just outside Forest Lake is the Wildlife Science Center, an internationally-known research and education facility that studies numerous wildlife species, specializing in wolves, the Wildlife Science Center has the largest captive population of privately maintained wolves in the United States.
  • Forest Lake is home to the 23,000 acres (93 km2) Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. When it opened in 1938 it was said to have the most diverse wildlife population of any urban area of the United States.
  • Forest Lake is home to St. Croix Forge, the largest horseshoe manufacturer in North America.
  • Running Aces Harness Park is five miles (8 km) from downtown Forest Lake.
  • Lamprey Pass Wildlife Management Area is located along Interstate 35, two miles (3 km) from downtown Forest Lake. This site is the oldest known Native American settlement in the state of Minnesota, containing Hopewell tradition culture burial grounds that are believed to date back more than 2,000 years.
  • Acqua Restaurant, on the shores of Forest Lake, was named by users of OpenTable as being one of the top 100 scenic view restaurants in the U.S. between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.


Historical population
Est. 201820,220[3]10.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
2015 Estimate[24]

Median household income for 2017 was $76,904. Average household income was $93,296. Per capita income was $35,334.

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 18,375 people, 7,014 households, and 5,044 families residing in the city. The population density was 601.3 inhabitants per square mile (232.2/km2). There were 7,508 housing units at an average density of 245.7 per square mile (94.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.7% White, 1.1% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 7,014 households of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.1% were non-families. 21.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 26.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.1% were from 25 to 44; 27.7% were from 45 to 64; and 11.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.


Forest Lake is located in Minnesota's 6th congressional district.

Public schools

The Forest Lake Area school system includes 9 elementary sites, 1 junior highs site, and 1 high school site. In addition, an independent district – North Lakes Academy. There is also an area learning center located at the former Central Junior High School site.[26]

Elementary schools (grades K–5)

  • Central Montessori
  • Columbus Elementary (K-6)
  • Forest Lake
  • Forest View
  • Lakes International Language Academy
  • Lino Lakes
  • Linwood
  • North Lakes Academy
  • St. Peter's
  • Scandia
  • Wyoming

Junior high schools (grades 6-8)

  • Forest Lake Area Learning Center (ALC): grades 6 – 9
  • Forest Lake Area Middle School: grades 7-8
  • North Lakes Academy: grades 5-12
  • Lakes international language academy(LILA): grades 6-8

High schools (grades 9–12)

  • Forest Lake Area High School: grades 9–12
  • Forest Lake Area Learning Center (ALC): grades 10 – 12
  • North Lakes Academy grades 5–12
  • Lakes International Language Academy: grades 9-12

Notable people


Arts and entertainment, journalists, writers

Politics and public service




  1. "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  3. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  4. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  7. Paul Walsh (24 April 2012). "35E closed in north metro after crash in construction zone". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  8. Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 569.
  9. "Forest Lake - Washington County Historical Society". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  10. Marquis, Albert Nelson. "The Book of Minnesotans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the State of Minnesota". A. N. Marquis and Company. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  11. Buchan, Cliff. "Local bands will return to parade". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  12. "certified proof - Collections Search Center, Smithsonian Institution". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  13. "Master's Poetry: The Aurora Borealis by Paramahansa Yogananda". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  14. "Ken Morrow". MeiGraySelect. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  15. "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind prior to 1945 in 1995". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  16. "IMDb: Filming Location Matching "Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)". IMDb. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  17. "Fran Jurga`s Hoof Blog: News from Hoofcare + Lameness: Mustad Talks Up the Street Sense Derby Connection in Minneapolis Daily Newspaper". 17 May 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  18. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  19. "Forest Lake Times". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  20. Publications, Press. "Forest Lake". Press Publications. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  21. DeMoe, Jason. "Cedar Park dragon roars to life". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  22. "Home". Forest Lake Baseball Association. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  23. United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  24. "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  25. "City Council - Forest Lake, MN". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  26. "Forest Lake Area Schools / Homepage". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.