What do you think of when you think of St. Cloud? The giant prison on Highway 10? Val's? Lake George?

A few years ago WJON reporters Ashli Overlund and Dan DeBaun did a video series called "Frozen In Time," where they gave viewers an inside look at the St. Cloud area's most famous institutions as well as a few of the area's cherished traditions.

We also sourced some videos from Twin Cities television stations to get a sneak peek at some of our most famous landmarks.


Very few people (at least those who don't HAVE to be there) have seen the inside of St. Cloud Prison. We've all driven by there and wondered what is beyond those giant granite walls.


Val's has been a St. Cloud staple for over 60 years on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and East St. Germaine.

Vals serves about 200 to 350 customers daily. David Henning says they pride themselves on their limited menu. He says when you're in the mood for a burger you know exactly where to go to get a good one.

Here's a look behind the scenes at the area's favorite burger joint.


The Pioneer Place Theatre has hosted events in Downtown St. Cloud since 1913!

The Elks Club owned the building until the 1970’s when they moved locations. The building then became home to the County Stearns Theatrical Company. Co-Founder of the Pioneer Place, Dan Barth, says the front of the building has served several purposes over the years.


"I think a lot of people will remember Tootsies Card Shop was here for many years, it was home to the Veranda Gift Shop, it was offices, the upstairs of the building at one time was apartments,' Barth says

Take a look inside this iconic venue with the video below.


Did you know there has been ice skating on Lake George since at least 1867?

The city would flood the entire lake and open it up to leisure skaters. It was a popular destination during St. Cloud's Winter Carnival which drew in skaters by the hundreds.

The lake hosted Silver Skate races to decide the area's fastest skater for a number of years and has had a warming shelter since the 1930's.


Gopher Bargain Center has been delivering great deals to St. Cloud residents for over 80 years since opening in 1941!

Friendly faces aren't the only thing you'll recognize at Gopher. There is one item that is synonymous with the store and has been in building for more than 40 years. It is an over sized chair that was acquired through a train wreck salvage.

Even the building itself is made from salvaged materials.

175 Years of Benton County History

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