Blue Lagoon in Fall Oil by Ingis Claus

Blue Lagoon in Fall.
Oil by Gail Ingis Claus

Once a reservoir, the blue Lagoon offers many moods,  many views, much beauty. This lake is the kind you swim across, peddle through, fish for fun. There’s an association that was formed in 1952 when a local developer purchased Samp Mortar Lake from the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company. I walk around the lake everyday while I spot the ducks, the geese and the birds flit over the deep, dark, blue vast space. It’s the kind of lake that has a glass like appearance, sometimes black glass, sometimes blue, reflecting the trees, reflecting the docks, reflecting the boats of color at the edges.

The reservoir had been created in 1902 upon construction of the Samp Mortar Dam with the objective of providing a permanent water source for the surrounding community.

Swimmers use the dock. Pastel by Ingis Claus

Swimmers use the dock. Pastel by Gail Ingis Claus

Population growth and community expansion led the hydraulic company to develop other, larger reservoirs upstream and to sell the Samp Mortar Lake.

The land surrounding the lake had been homes to generations of Native Americans including the Sasqua, Pequonnock and Mohican tribes.

The lake itself is named after the “Samp Mortar” – a “mortar” (or bowl) in which the Indians mashed their “Samp”, a kind of corn mash. The actual “Samp Mortar” is located at the top of a cliff in the Samp Mortar Rock Park on Springer Road just around a bend in the road.

The lake with blue boat Photo Ingis Claus

The lake with blue boat. Photo by Gail Ingis Claus

The properties of the Lake Hills Association and its members cover approximately 480 acres in the Town of Fairfield, Connecticut. The area includes almost 525 private homes and approximately 80 acres of common property. Samp Mortar Lake itself has a surface area of fifty-two acres and four miles of shoreline. Approximately half of the shoreline is the common property of the Association.

There are five sandy beaches,  baseball field, playground, tennis court, basketball court, nature preserve, five public docks and seems everyone has private docks.

Management and maintenance of our over five hundred member association is entirely through the voluntary contribution of time and talents of the members. Just two weeks ago everyone volunteered to do a “beach clean up” after the messy winter. We all love our Lake.

The lake and dock Photo by Ingis Claus

The lake and dock. Photo by Gail Ingis Claus

Annual activities include children and adult swim lessons, canoe races, summer picnics and more, I love the beach barbeques. Most of all, the people are wonderful, it is a real neighborhood. People come out of their houses and congregate. Kids play stick ball in backyards, say hello to us grown-ups, sell lemonade. We love our grandmas and grandpas too. Lots of dog walkers, and yes, they do pick up after them. If someone gets sick, needs help, gets hurt, has celebrations, graduations, life happens, we all watch out for each other.

It’s especially beautiful in the rain, while it’s snowing, and when the snow  and ice bend the bows of those mighty trees. Fragrance of the pines is prevalent.

What do you love most about your neighborhood?

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