Forest Lake (Images of America)
Like so many of the places that lined the route from St. Paul to Duluth, Forest Lake came of age as a railroad town and was first incorporated as a township in 1874. Situated on a lake by the same name, it soon became known as a resort town where many residents from the Twin Cities could leave their cares behind for some fishing and sunbathing. Because of its secluded nature, it also attracted well-known gangsters of the era. Minnesota native George "Bugs" Moran had a hideout near the lake, as did the Ma Barker gang. As the resort traffic dried up, progress soon took over, and with it came residential development and downtown revitalization. Today, Forest Lake's population has increased nearly twentyfold and continues to attract visitors to its pristine lakes.