Settlement of the Forest Lake area occurred initially as a result of the construction of the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad completed in 1869.
Growth in the City and surrounding township was fueled by the development of summer lake homes on the shores of the area’s lakes, particularly on Forest Lake and Clear Lake. Over time, a commercial district developed along with community facilities such as parks and schools.
The lake home village matured into the City it is today as cabin owners turned their property into year-round residences. Steady residential and commercial growth occurred from the 1970’s through the 1990’s and in 2001 the City and Township combined into one City.
Today, a significant portion of the working households commute to the inner-cities for jobs. A regional transportation center provides commuter bus service to Minneapolis and St. Paul.