Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Webster Lake:

[b]UPDATE:[/b] 4/23/09: CORRECTED according to recent research on the correct spelling of this lake. (I was using the lesser justified 29-character variant.)
The Webster Police department has this to say about Lake Webster in Massachusetts. It’s “well known for its other name: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It is the fifth longest word in the world according to Guiness Book of Records and the longest lake name anywhere. The lake is actually 3 ponds joined by two narrow channels.
History: Indian word meaning ‘the boundary lake’ … In 1642, Woodward and Saffery, the first surveyors of the Mass. Bay Colony, called it ‘The Great Pond.’ In 1645, Conn. Gov. John Winthrop called it ‘The Lakes of Quabage.’ After a 1707 survey, John Chandler recorded the name as ‘Chaubunnagungamoug.’ According to Wise Owl, chief of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmucks, Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg was an Indian word for a neutral fishing place near a boundary - a meeting and fishing spot shared by several Indian tribes. A more popular, and some say, fanciful, interpretation is that it meant ‘You fish on your side, I fish on my side, nobody fishes in the middle’".
Latitude: 420330N
Longitude: 0715130W
Elevation: 479
Here’s a short photo essay on the lake.
If you have trouble remembering the name, just sing it to the tune of America the Beautiful (start with the word “lake”).

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