They call it Blue Mountain Lake now. Before the Durants arrived it was “Blue Spirit Lake.” We did not know the word “hue” at that time so we used the word “spirit.” Every Indian in the area seemed happy to call it “Blue Spirit Lake.”
But let me not become bitter and emotional so soon.
The mountain is blue. This does give the lake a bluish spirit. And in the summer Blue Herons feed on the lakes largess. There is no argument from me. It is “Blue.”
I am not sure if I remember this or just remember what my mother told me about this. Memory sometimes fools us. If we are not sure of what we have seen or heard, we then fill in the empty spots with what we believe they should be filled in with. It is not a conscious thing; it is simply a human thing.
In either case we were on the “Blue Spirit Lake.” By ‘we’, I mean my mother, my father and I. My father had killed two moose and my mother had made a substantial lodge out of the two hides. A few other families came to talk and admire the lodge.
There were no trains, no stagecoaches, no buckboards, and definitely no people from Boston or New York City. We were what we were, families and clans enjoying where we lived and the way we lived.
My mother and some of the other women talked about the weather, the men and the children.
The men talked about fishing, hunting and the new things that they were seeing.
They saw strangers from a place called “Albany.” The families from the other side of the North Woods were talking about people from a place called “Utica.” And several people had actually talked to some English from “Syracuse.”
They told us there were people who made rivers. The rivers were straight but shallow. Beasts pulled canoes on these rivers. The new rivers went to Utica, Buffalo, Syracuse, Binghamton and other strange sounding places.
The women talked and were afraid.
The men talked and were furious.
Us children talked and did not understand what we were saying.
None of us knew where all these new people would gather. They appeared to wish to live together in large clans. They seemed to be strange people, indeed.
Little did we know that these people were building a railroad from one sea to the other.
Little did we know that when that was complete they would want to build a railroad from one side of our mountains to the other.
Little did we know.