A Brief History of Lake George
Lake George is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world and is known as "The Queen of American Lakes". Lake George is thirty-three miles long and was carved from solid granite over 50,000 years ago by advancing glaciers. The lake includes 109 miles of shoreline, about 300 islands and covers an approximate are of 44 square miles.
Over 200 feet deep and replenished by underground springs, Lake George is so pure and clear that it remains a major source of drinking water for the region. The mouth of the lake is located at Lake George Village and its outlet is to the north at Ticonderoga. Lake George is 210 feet higher by sea level than Lake Champlain located farther north in the Adirondacks. This is a natural wonder, since the water from Lake George empties through Ticonderoga Creek into Lake Champlain at total fall which surpasses that of Niagara Falls.
The Lake was first known and named by the Abenaki people who traveled and fished it as 'An-Di-A-Ta-Roc-Te' (ie., "the lake that shuts itself in"). This name was changed, at least in the eyes of western Europeans, to 'Lac Du Saint Sacrement' by the French missionary FR. Issac Jogues, the first European to discover the lake, on May 30 1646. This name held on for another 109 years until August 28, 1755 wen British General Sir William Johnson named the lake in honor of his sovereign, the King George II. Despite an attempt in the 1800's to rename the lake 'Horicon' due to the prevalence of lingering anti-British sentiments in the nascent United States, the name 'Lake George' and the region surrounding it have a rich history which includes early exploration of the American continent, pivotal battles of the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars and an association with such influential historical figures such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie. Today, Lake George draws many people to the waters, trails and forests of its watershed.
Much of Lake George shoreline, particularly the eastern shore, is unsettled. Due to the tight restrictions through federally and state administered regulations as well as the efforts of private land trusts and concerned individuals, it will forever remain so. The shoreline ranges from beautiful, quiet, sandy beaches to rocky crags, cliffs, marshes and tall hemlock stands.
Information adapted from the Lake George Chamber of Commerce.