Hiking with friends makes the trail more fun. We were lucky to receive gorgeous weather last weekend that was perfect for outdoor afternoons. At Indian Lake, a flotilla of geese were sunbathing in the water.
But why is it called Indian Lake? This was once Ho-Chunk land. Was there an encampment? I looked on the Dane County Park website, and found a description of a historical marker at the park which we had not seen. The lake is named for the Sauk and Fox Tribes. Starting in 1830, the US government decreed they should leave Illinois and go to Iowa in order to reserve more Illinois farm acreage for European settlers. Without enough land for their crops, the Sauk and Fox tribe members were starving. Illinois settlers raised a militia because they were afraid of their indigenous neighbors and in April, 1832 attacked the Sauk and Fox, despite the peace flag they displayed. The tribes returned fire, and the lines were drawn for the Black Hawk War. On July 21, 1832, Sauk and Fox Tribe members including their children and elderly, went through southern Wisconsin past the west end of Indian Lake to escape the US Army troops. The army pursued the tribes. On August 2, 1832, further west on the Wisconsin border the Sauk and Fox families attempted to cross the Mississippi River holding a peace flag and the army fired on them from boats. The massacre diminished their numbers from 1000 to 150. This is a beautiful place with a tragic past.
Not knowing the history, we hiked up the incline and began to have wooded vistas. A farm house built by German settlers in the late 1800s is now in ruins. (the barn still stands)
Lovely birch trees grew along the edge of the hill.
A stranger kindly offered to take our photo.
After enjoying the vistas for at least an hour, we hiked down near the lake.
The cattails and white aster seeds were glowing in the sun. My camera captured this better than my phone could. I like their halos.
The golden time of day arrived, when the lake shines bright with the lowering sun.
We were uplifted by the hike, and also ready for our next meal. Our group said goodbye to Indian Lake, or See you later, perhaps in winter.
Is Indian Lake a descriptive enough name? How about Sauk and Fox Lake to better memorialize their passage. Or, we ask their descendants to choose the name. ¡Olé! –Rebecca
Hello Poets, sharpen your pencils, the celestial tanka poetry challenge is underway!
Tankas are out of this world! Deadline: Sunday, 14 November. Join us.