Contemplating Massacoe

"Contemplating Massacoe" (Great Pond at Massacoe State Forest, Simsbury, Connecticut)

“Contemplating Massacoe”
Great Pond at Massacoe State Forest, Simsbury, Connecticut
© 2016 J. G. Coleman

Tufts of parched marsh reeds catch stray sunlight as a welcoming March day comes to a close in Northern Connecticut. Snow may have vanished from the lake shore, but winter surreptitiously lingers forth in an icy glaze which grips the deepening shadows.

“Great Pond” seems a rather dramatic title for an ancient, marshy lake of just 25 acres in the north of Simsbury. But despite being carved by brooks and draped with several serpentine miles of the Farmington River, the town peculiarly lacks many standing bodies of water. Great Pond, as it would happen, is the largest lake in Simsbury.

"Beaver Country" (Great Pond at Massacoe State Forest, Simsbury, Connecticut)

“Beaver Country”
Great Pond at Massacoe State Forest, Simsbury, Connecticut
© 2016 J. G. Coleman

And while much can be said about its history, perhaps the most novel story of Great Pond arose in 1942 when a box turtle was discovered beside the lake with “C.E.B. 1877” etched into its shell. Lo and behold, local man Clayton E. Bacon, who was 83 years old at that time, got wind of the find and confirmed that he’d scratched his initials into the turtle’s shell as a teenager 65 years earlier! Having made the local news, the turtle was released alive, though it was never found again.

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