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How Well Do You Know Gull Lake?
As a scuba diver, you probably know Gull Lake well. It’s where we complete open water training dives, where we frequent on Wednesday Night Dives, and where we discover underwater treasures. But how well do you know its history?
Here are some fun facts from http://www.gulllake.us/gull-lake-history/#sthash.yRqlfM4T.dpuf
- There is an article on Gull Lake in the May 2015 issue of Dive Training Magazine.
- Potawatomi people lived by the lake until the Treaty of Chicago in 1821which moved them west.
- The fertile area of ‘Gull Prairie’ drew settlers to the area in the 1830’s.
- Several small manufactures have run in the area including a celery-flavored breakfast cereal maker. Yuck!
- Families like the Kellogg’s first started building homes for summer getaways. Today, it is mostly home to year around residents.
- For divers, there are two things that have improved our underwater visibility. The first was the installation of an extensive sewer system in the early 1980s. The second factor was the zebra mussel; they are a mixed blessing, for sure.
- Gull Lake was formed by glacial activity. Today, its water supply comes from four small streams (35%), rain and snow (25%) and ground water flow (40%). One of the underwater springs can be seen by the railroad tracts off of Ross Township Park.
- The average drop of water is said to spend 4.3years in the lake. Who comes up with that statistic?
- The lake was half its current size until Tillotson Barnes constructed a dam on the south end for his sawmill. The construction of this dam raised the lake level 14 feet and almost doubled it's size. This made the island as you know it today. Originally, it was a peninsula and residents could get groceries so much easier.
- The first resort on Gull Lake was built by Mr. E.L. Hawk. He launched the first steamboat, called The Crystal in the 1880’s. You could catch a ride on The Crystal for 25 cents. Other steamboats were added with names like the Arrow, the Queen City, the Brownie, the Michigan, and the Jaunita. The largest was a double-decker vessel that could carry 250 passengers and a band. She was called the Searchlight. Jim Drag, one of SASS’ first dive instructors and premier ‘grubbers’, found a port and starboard light from one of the steamboats.