Big Alum Lake

Sturbridge, MA


The story of Big Alum Lake is a blend of history and legend but, most of all, it is the story of people - Native Americans, historical figures, and generations of families who have settled its shores. In the pages that follow, we share the writings of historians Samuel Flagg Bemis and Louis E. Roy, the memoirs of men like Alan Faxon and Carleton Comins, accounts of the Fiskdale trolley system and the link between Big Alum's dam and the Fiskdale mills, and the story of Reverend John Eliot, his "praying Indian" communities, and his 1000-acre parcel at Pookookapog Pond.

We thank all who have contributed their memories to this work-in-progress and encourage others who have stories about the lake to share them with us. Please take a moment to read some of the fascinating chapters in Big Alum's history.


John Puffer
Barbara LaRochelle

Table of Contents

Please click the Chapter numbers to read about the history of Big Alum.

Chapter 1 ..... "In the Beginning" by Dr. Louis Roy
Chapter 2 ..... "Alum Pond and Walden" by Dr. Samuel Flagg Bemis
Chapter 3 ..... Grandma Fearing's Memories
Chapter 4 ..... Rice Family Girls' Camp
Chapter 5 ..... Ruth Toucey Temple Harwood's Memories
Chapter 6 ..... Growing up at the Lake - Jan Temple Metoxen's Memories
Chapter 7 ..... The Cottages of Pookookapog Lake - A Photo Gallery
Chapter 8 ..... The Dam at Big Alum
Chapter 9 ..... Big Alum and the Trolley Line through Fiskdale
Chapter 10 ..... Reverend John Eliot and Pookookapog Pond
Chapter 11 ..... "The Story of Lake Pookookapog" by Allan Faxon
Chapter 12 ..... "Big Alum Pond Memories" by Carleton C. Comins
Chapter 13 ..... "Life on the Island" by Kay Woodford
Chapter 14 ..... Duck Boat at the Lake
Chapter 15 ..... Boat Parades on Big Alum
Chapter 16


Pookookapog Clambakes
Chapter 17 ..... The Lyman Family's Memories