A captivating historical monument – Marquette Wire
In Sauk County, in the western part of Wisconsin, is a lake steeped in history and tales. Located in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Devil’s Lake is a state park that welcomes approximately three million people each year. Occupying 27,000 acres of land, Devil’s Lake State Park contains a variety of trails going in trouble.
The lake formed about 100,000 years ago. At that time, the last Ice Age was underway – known as the Wisconsin Glaciation. This gave rise to the Laurentian Ice Cap covering all of North America. It would take more than 50,000 years for the leaf to retreat to northern Wisconsin.
As the glacier moved and melted, it tore up the earth and created mounds in the earth, called terminal moraines. Devil’s Lake is one of the terminal moraines that was filled in by melting glaciers, but today it is filled with rainwater and local springs and streams.
Devil’s Lake was first discovered and mostly visited by local indigenous Ho-Chunk tribes. The Ho-Chunk tribes call Lake Tewakącąk, which translates to Sacred Lake / Spirit. While Nakota Sioux calls the lake something close to Mystery / Bad Spirit Lake. When the white settlers arrived and learned of the existence of the area, many names were created, but the one that remained Devil’s Lake.
Keli Borem, a second-year engineering school student from Wisconsin, frequently visits the lake with friends and family.
“It’s a great place to go any time of the year. In the summer I go there at least once a week. It’s so pretty and there is so much to do, ”Borem said.
The park is home to natural attractions such as the rock formations of Balanced Rock and Cleopatra’s Needle. Most of these rock formations are made up of a specific crystal called Baraboo Quartzite that has been around for over a billion years.
The rocks rest on cliffs that overlook the lake and the surrounding park. There are trails that cover many distances and campgrounds for outdoor activities. Recreational activities for each season are offered.
“We walk the hiking trails, we bring our hammocks, we read books, we have lunch. That’s really nice. And in the summer you can rent kayaks to go out on the lake, ”Borem said.
How did it get the name of Devil’s Lake? Rattlesnakes have been seen on the trails and for four weeks swarms of midges occupy the lake. In 1901, the Milwaukee Journal wrote a story about how a man swore he saw an alligator.
Besides real animals, the lake has stories of encounters with cryptids.
Sightings of Thunderbird – a large spiritual bird large enough to pick up killer whales – have also claimed to have been seen flying overhead. Hostelative mythology, Thunderbirds are powerful beings responsible for thunder and lightning, but also great wisdom.
According to the legend of the Sioux natives, the Thunderbird is a noble spirit that protects humans from the reptilian monsters known as Unktehila – also known as the horned serpent. There are many legends about the fights between the two.
The story goes that Unktehila fought against the Thunderbird and was pushed into Devil’s Lake, where he now lives. There have been sightings of the fish-like creature that closely resembles the Loch Ness monster. It is said that the native Sioux saw the creature during a bad drought.
As for the supernatural, ghost stories do not resonate with the lake. But upon entering the town of Baraboo, there were a lot of ghostly sightings.
Sara Van Gheem, a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University, is from Baraboo and has heard many haunting stories. Buildings such as The Old Baraboo Inn, The Baraboo Asylum, Al Ringling Theater and The Circus World Museum are all said to be haunted, Van Gheem said.
“While in buildings, people will always tell you not to stare at a window for too long or you will see a ghost,” Van Gheem said. “While at Circus World, people reported hearing elephant trampling.”
Stories from Fate Magazine and the Chicago Tribune also reported on these elephants how it got so bad they rocked houses and even knocked over them. at the bottom of a barn.
There are also tales of a ghost hitchhiker in Baraboo known as “Highway Man”. Highway Man was seen walking along Highway 12 at night dressed in camouflage with a backpack. However, if a driver pulls over to the side of the road and offers to drive it, it will disappear.
Van Gheem said that in a place like Baraboo it’s hard to escape scary events, but she enjoys every second of it.
“I loved growing up in Baraboo, even though it’s a small town, there is something so interesting about it. There is so much to do and so many interesting stories, ”said Van Gheem.
Whether it’s taking in the views of the lake and foliage from the cliffs of Devil Lake or looking for supernatural creatures, there is certainly something about Sauk County that will appeal to travelers.
This story was written by Connor Baldwin. He can be reached at [email protected]