Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1852 Woodworth's Youth's Cabinet magazine: Lake Elizabeth in Michigan

Interesting article about Lake Elizabeth, near Pontiac, Michigan, in the November 1852 issue of Woodworth's Youth's Cabinet, an Illustrated Dollar Magazine, Edited by Francis C. Woodworth.  The magazine was published in New York by D. A. Woodworth, 118 Nassau Street.

Lake Elizabeth, in the State of Michigan, on whose banks is situated my happy western home, is named after a lovely lady, the wife of General Cass, the former governor of this State.  The old gentleman often honors it with his presence, perhaps to ride round its margins or take a row on its placid surface.  It is mostly surrounded by beautiful woods, which give it a pleasant and romantic appearance.  The banks are high and grassy, and in the summer it is bordered with lovely wild flowers, which grow so near the water that they are often covered with the rolling waves, dashing against the shore.  It is a sublime sight to see this lake when its surface is agitated by the wind, and when the waves dash angrily against the beach, adding to the tumult of the storm, and rolling, and tumbling, to and fro, covering the lake with one sheet of foam.  But what a contrast, when its surface is at rest, and, like a lovely mirror, reflects the azure sky and lofty trees, which spread their green boughs over its waters.  Then it is so pleasant to skim along over its unruffled bosom, and watch the little inhabitants of the water, swimming in their liquid home.  The water of this lake is remarkably pure and clear; and while you sail on its sparkling surface, you can amuse yourself by examining the domestic arrangements of the fish in the lake, and naturalists can make discoveries through this transparent medium, nearly as well as if the objects were upon its bosom.  When winter chills its limpid surface, the same is visible.  Even when the ice is a foot thick, the fisherman can frequently watch the movements of the finny tribe, and ascertain whether he has been fortunate enough to secure one on his hook, the line of which is fastened to a stick, and laid across a hole cut in the ice.  It is pleasant to see the lake quite alive, on a sunny day, with sportsmen from Pontiac, our adjacent town, employed in this amusement.  It is fearful to those that are not accustomed to it, to hear what a continual roar is created by the ice cracking when the sun shines on it.

It would be wonderful to learn the identity of Emma, who was so taken with her beloved Lake Elizabeth.

As for Elizabeth (Spencer) Cass, the lady for whom the lake was named, she was born Elizabeth Selden Spencer on 17 September 1786 at Millington, Maryland, the daughter of Joseph and Deborah (Selden) Spencer.  In July 1806, she married Lewis Cass, diplomat, politician and, as the description above indicates,  governor of Michigan Territory.  Lewis Cass was born 9 October 1782 at Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of Jonathan and Mary "Molly" (Gilman) Cass.   Elizabeth died in 1853; Lewis in 1866, both in Detroit, Michigan. 

A map of Lake Elizabeth:

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A map of Pontiac, Michigan, showing Lake Elizabeth, on the western margin, visible if you zoom out:

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Thanks for stopping by!

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