Swimming at the Wildwood Amusement Park on White Bear Lake
Wildwood Amusement Park was constructed on the eastern shores of White Bear Lake in the 1890s in Mahtomedi. Closely associated with the Twin City Rapid Transit Company, the attendance during the weekends would top 1,000 visitors each day, and during the week between 400-500 people would enjoy the park every day. Known for its bathhouse and giant water slide & roller coaster named the “Pippin,” Wildwood offered a break to many laborers during the early part of the 20th century. Even the Tilt-a-Whirl made its debut at the park in 1926. However, with the advent of cars and the depression, Wildwood was all but a memory by the late 1930s.
Stillwater popcorn vendor, George Goutsos, ca. 1940s.
Popcorn has been a part of our culture for decades and continues to be one of the favorite snacks of Americans for most any event. Even in Stillwater, the popcorn wagon sat on the street corner popping corn and selling bags of the snack to passersby as early as the 1890s.
By the mid-1940s, popcorn wagons became motorized and George Goutsos, a Greek immigrant, became the town popcorn vendor. Goutsos would drive his popcorn truck around to most of the community events and there are people around today that still remember him parked at the high school football games selling popcorn to eager high school students.