Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society, P.O. Box 173 Stoughton Wisconsin 53589

Lake Kegonsa

During the last Ice Age, four distinct, giant glaciers, originating in  Canada, invaded what is now the northern United States. The last of these  great ice blankets, called the Wisconsin Glacier, overrode much of Wisconsin.  Around here, the Wisconsin Glacier slid over the old river valley that  many geologists believe was the “Ancient Wisconsin River”.  The glacier slid over these park lands, creating a wide terminal moraine  only a few miles south and southwest of Lake Kegonsa. Thus, this park  once lay under thick glacial ice.

As the glacier melted and retreated, its meltwaters carried vast amounts  of sand, gravel and boulders into the old river valley, partially filling  it. The melting ice also dropped huge loads of glacial rock and debris  on the park lands.

The old valley, now dammed in places by glacial debris, holds the famous  “4-Lakes” of the Madison area: Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa  and Kegonsa. This string of beautiful lakes has existed only during the  last 12,000-15,000 years and is perched on glacial debris many feet above  the old, buried valley floor. The present-day Yahara River connects the  four lakes.

How Lake Kegonsa Got Its Name

Early area settlers referred to Lake Kegonsa as “First Lake”  because it was the first of the four Madison lakes ”Kegonsa, Waubesa,  Monona and Mendota” they encountered traveling north up the Yahara  River.

The name Kegonsa is attributed to the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Indians who  once lived in this area. Kegonsa means “Lake of Many Fishes”  Today, Lake Kegonsa is still one of Wisconsin’s most productive  fishing lakes.

FOLKS Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society, Stougthon, Wisconsin.
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