History and Mystery on Lake Memphremagog
Memphremagog is the name given to the Northeast Kingdom’s “Great Lake” by the Abenaki, meaning “great expanse of water.” It is, indeed, a mighty lake with many moods, a spiritual lake steeped in history and mystery. We decided to take a wander on the far side and see what we came up with. Special thanks to Bill Shipp for his enthusiastic willingness to join this particular journey and, in the process, help found the “History and Mystery Division” of the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association.
Where did this journey lead us?
- The ghost of Mad Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War General, who haunts our lake.
- Buried treasure by smugglers on Province Island and Skinners Cave, and by retreating Rogers Rangers after their massacre of the Abenaki in St. Francis.
- And, of course, over 150 documented sightings and encounters with our legendary, plesiosaur-like sea serpent, named Memphre©
But, step aside Dan Brown, today we discovered claims of the presence of the Knights Templar on, yes, the very shores of Mighty Memphremagog. Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic (1988); Gerard Leduc, The Knights Templar in New France: Destination Montreal and Lake Memphremagog, Journal of the New England Antiquities Research Association, vol. 40, No2, 2006. 40, No.2, (2006).
Anybody doubting the magic and mystery of our spirited lake, just consider some of the extraordinary achievements (previously reported) of many Kingdom Swimmers after they took “The Dip.”