Fishing Then and Now at Webster Lake
Webster Lake is in the town of Webster, Massachusetts. While the lake takes its contemporary name from the town, it also goes by its older, more traditional Nimpuc name: Lake Chaubunagungamaug. That’s a long name for a place with great tradition. In fact, that’s the longest place name in the United States. If you’re searching for a vacation destination that combines interesting local history with all of the natural beauty that Massachusetts has to offer, look no further than a Webster Lake lake house.
Rich Nipmuc History
The first people to inhabit the Webster Lake area were the Nipmuc Indians. These early farmers cultivated corn, beans, and squash, fertilizing each crop with fish from the lake. The Nimpuc name of the lake is Lake Chaubunagungamaug, which is said to mean, “Fishing Place at the Boundaries – Neutral Meeting Grounds.” However, in 1921 a local journalist jokingly extended the name to “Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.” This outrageous exaggeration stuck, and you may hear it applied to this region, if anyone can pronounce it. For all the Gilmore Girls fans out there, you may recognize this extensive lake name from Season 6, Episode 6, when Kirk suggests that the word “Chargogagogmanchogagogcharbunagunggamog” be used as the new street name of the Dragonfly Inn. His translation of the phrase is, “You fish on your side of the lake, I'll fish on my side, and no one will fish in the middle.” But no matter which name or translation you prefer, it is clear that Webster Lake and its fishermen have been of great significance to the region for generations.
Long Fishing Tradition
Webster Lake is a glacial lake, with increased capacity due to damming. With a surface area of 1,442 acres and 17 miles of shoreline, there is enough space for everyone to swim, boat, and fish, no matter which “side” you choose to make your own for the day. The average lake depth is 13 feet, but it gets down to 45 feet at its deepest.
With a native name all about fishing, you can count on Webster Lake being a prime angling destination. One of the most challenging fish to catch, the muskellunge (or muskie, for short) can be a colossal catch for anglers. Webster Lake lake house renters and lake visitors have the benefit of booking a muskie fishing charter from Webster Lake Guide Service, which has years of experience pulling up these monsters. Of course, other fish like bass, catfish, perch, bluegill, and trout can be found throughout the lake, as well. In fact, at least 17 species of fish have been found in the Webster Lake waters. The same company that leads muskie fishing charters also has boats for rent. If you didn’t bring all your fishing gear with you to your Webster Lake lake house, Lakeview Marine is a full-service marine store and service shop conveniently located on the lake.
If you are looking for a unique and historic way to experience Webster Lake, hop aboard the Indian Princess, a replica of the grand old riverboats that used to ply the Mississippi river in the 1800s. Unlike many modern riverboats that run under traditional power and include a paddle wheel for visual effect, the Indian Princess is an authentic paddleboat with stern wheels as the only means of propulsion. While cruising Webster Lake, you can enjoy the scenery from either the open-air deck or the Princess dining room.
Varied Local Entertainment
Your Webster Lake lake house is sure to feel like an oasis of relaxation, and you may never want to leave. But if you do decide to venture beyond the lake, check out Indian Ranch. This outdoor amphitheater on the east side of Webster Lake hosts a variety of performers, from musicians like ZZ Top to comedians like Sal Votano. Some of the events are even free!
When you get hungry, stop in to the Lobster Nook, just west of Webster Lake. This local eatery is famous for its lobster, and even though Webster isn’t a coastal city, visitors can sill get the Boston seafood experience here. This restaurant serves fresh seafood from Boston and Main, and they can even deliver if you want your meal in a more private setting. The menu is cooked-to-order, meaning that you’ll get the freshest food made from the freshest ingredients.
It’s clear from the place names and traditions here that local history is still alive in the hearts and minds of the community. Rent a Webster Lake lake house and take your next vacation in a place that is in touch with its roots.