Lucien Caswell’s Description of Lake Koshkonong

Date in History: 1840

Lucien Caswell was one of the first white settlers to live on Lake Koshkonong. The following is his description of the lake in 1840, before the Indianford Dam was built.

“When August came, Lake Koshkonong was like a great magnificent meadow, and later on as fall approached, it was like a vast grain field. The wild rice grew in it from five to seven feet high above the water, and so thick all over that it was difficult to push a canoe through it. I have seen the time when standing upon this high ground, overlooking this entire lake, I could not discover a drop of water in sight. It was one solid mass of rice. Here and there upon its yellow surface, could be seen two Indians in a canoe gathering their winter’s stock. This vast field was literally alive with wild ducks. The firing of a gun would arouse them from hiding, thousands, yes, millions untold. The scene I dare say was unrivaled on the face of the earth.”

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 05/19/2003.

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