July 4, 1941 – I have a picture taken that day of my Dad and me at age 4 as we were swimming off Varnum’s Beach (now called Bunker’s Beach) on Georges Pond. In 1945 we built our camp on the pond and called it “Camp Hideaway.” It was the 26th camp that had been built along the shoreline of the pond. At that time people just built “where and what they wanted”, which would help to explain why our porch is only 10 feet from the water!! Dad installed a hand pump attached to a pipe which was put in the pond, and that was our water supply until 1972! After 1945, we got our drinking water from the spring in Spring Cove, but we used pond water for everything else. Except for 1965, I’ve spent time every summer on the pond since then, and it is the most special place on earth to me!
As one can imagine, there was very little concern whatsoever about water quality at that time. In 1948, I occasionally noticed a green cotton-candy like growth low in the pond while fishing. My grandfather, “Mike” Estey told me it was “pickerel eggs.” Decades later I learned it was a form of algae, called metaphyton; …I didn’t realize that “meta” was just one form of algae which could compromise the pond. Then came the summer of 2012! Next time in “Just Pondering" I’ll tell you how that summer has affected all of us on the pond since then.