INDIAN LAKE If this hamlet had been founded in more politically correct times, it would probably have a different handle. But Indian Lake it is, named in honor of Sabael Benedict, an Abenaki who was the
area's first settler. Squaw Brook was designated such to honor his wife, and one nearby summit was called Squaw Bonnet. Then someone realized things were getting out of hand and and renamed the peak Snowy Mountain.
The distinction of being the first Anglo settler in the area goes to a man named
Reuben Rist. His supposed last resting (or Risting) place is marked by a plaque along the
highway, hard against a fireplug. In the mid- 1 850s, when Indian Lake had its first school, the students ranged
in age up to twenty-one; the teacher was sixteen. In 1868 a new school, with a sturdy fence, was built, in part because a
neighboring farmer's cows, apparently hungry for roughage and a decent education, kept edging closer and closer to the old one.
Even errier are these odd facts; Lake Abanakee is home to floating islands; a tree cut down in the area was found to hold a
horseshoe and a silk stocking at its center; the town's first-ever policeman, hired in 1905, was named Howard Fish (if you don't find that eerie . . . and the Cowsills' smash hit "Indian lake" was indeed inspired by this very town. You can find Indian Lake on Routes 28/30, in Hamilton County.