The Milton Historical Society held its March meeting on Thursday march 21, 2019. The topic was Crawford Lake, and members were given a presentation on its significance to the area.
Crawford Lake Conservation Area program instructor Adam McDowell effectively weaved the diverse components of Crawford Lake’s history together in his presentation, making for a compelling narrative about one of the most important natural features of the Niagara Escarpment — its geological basis dating back some 14,000 years ago, its human history going back to the 1300s and its scientific importance established less than just 50 years ago. A study conducted in 1971 determined that the lake is meromictic, which makes it a prime site for archaeological and geochemical studies. Using pollen analysis, reconstruction of the human history of the area as a Wendat (Huron) or Neutral Confederacy peoples village was made possible.
Since the 1980s, the reconstructed 15th Century Iroquoian village has been open seasonally, offering interpretive programs of Iroquoian life and culture, complemented by its three re-constructed longhouses. A boardwalk trail circles Crawford Lake, protecting the environment while allowing public access. The conservation area also has 19 kilometres of hiking and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails with connections to the Bruce Trail.
Crawford Lake is named for Campbellville’s Crawford family, who lived on the site and operated a lumber business there, later donating the land to the conservation authority.