As early as 1843, French explorer Jean Nicollet drew a map depicting “Bear’s Lake.” 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. Only seven years later, in 1858, the Town of White Bear was established. 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.
You can read the entire history of Gem Lake as written by James A. Lindner here.
Another more recent perspective is the Gem Lake Historical Articles from the City of Gem Lake’s Newsletters 2007 to 2016 written by Gretchen Artig-Swomley. Click on the link to read more. History of Gem Lake (004)