In 2011, a group of volunteers gathered to create a temporary historical museum to promote interest within the community. It wasn’t long before donations started to pour in, sending a signal that a more permanent organization was needed to collect, preserve and share the history of the Forest Lake, Minnesota area. The following year, the Forest Lake Area Historical Society was created. With the growing popularity of social media, an online Facebook group called “Old Forest Lake” was started by local resident, Justin Brink. Membership in this group soon reached into the thousands.

In 2019, a separate and more focused historical society was created to meet the demand for Forest Lake history that was being generated on Facebook. The new Forest Lake Historical Society hopes to gather local residents for fun events, like historical walking tours, boating tours and community gatherings to share stories and reminisce.

With every generation that passes, we lose a bit of our history. Old photographs are thrown, artifacts get lost and the stories of our ancestors get a little more muddled. Without preservation, we struggle to find our identity and lose our sense of pride in the city we call our home. 

We need your help! Contact us below and support the historical preservation of the Forest Lake area! Here are some items we can use:

  • Old photographs for donation or to copy (even those without names!)
  • Artifacts from the area (signage, old ledgers, business documents)
  • Stories of the past (your experiences, family histories)
  • Monetary donation to support events and other business expenses 

Please contact us at: or 612-309-6382.

Thank you for your help!

Justin Brink

President, Forest Lake Historical Society