Name of the Lake
In 2001, the original townships of Lutterworth, Snowdon, Anson, Hindon and Minden were amalgamated into the Township of Minden Hills.
Bob Lake is located in lots 8 through 12 of concessions I to III of the former Anson Township. The far south end of the lake near the dam is in lot 12, concession XIV of the former Lutterworth Township.
The earliest mention of the lake found to date was on an 1850 map of northern Peterborough County that labeled it Bob’s Lake. On the official Anson Township survey map for 1858-59, it was also named Bob’s Lake. On later Anson survey maps, the name changed to Bass Lake in 1875, and then to Big Bob Lake in 1904.
During the 1950s, when lakes and towns were formally being renamed, the government studied the original 1800s township maps and, when possible, chose names that avoided plurals (s) and possessives (’s). The Geographic Board of Canada officially approved the name Bob Lake on November 3, 1953. Change is often slow, however, and for about the next 50 years the lake continued to be named or labeled on local maps and documents as Big Bob Lake.
Little Bob Lake was not even drawn on the 1850 Peterborough County map, and on the Lutterworth Township 1858-59 survey map it was drawn but not named. The name Little Bob Lake did not appear on official maps until the 1930s.
Prior to 1961, there were actually three Bob Lakes. The top half of Little Bob Lake was locally known as Middle Bob Lake. When the Big Bob and Little Bob dams were enlarged in 1961-62, the increased water levels merged Middle and Little Bob into one lake.
Used since the mid-nineteenth century, the name Bob’s Lake indicates that the lake was originally named after someone called Bob. When Lieutenant Catty’s expedition went through our area in 1819, it appeared that none of the lakes or rivers had been named by the explorers or settlers at that time. Since the name Bob’s Lake first appeared on a map in 1850, it should be a safe assumption that someone named Bob lived in the area during the previous 30 years. Within that time period, Minden had not yet been founded and there were no farms on our lake. The closest settlements were Sam Moore’s fur trading post and Henry Moore’s Lutterworth farming community, both of which were located at the north end of Gull Lake. Bob was probably associated with one of these settlements.
Although it is not possible to prove the exact origin of the Bob Lake name at this time, Fred Gregory (a Carnarvon resident, Moore Family historian, author, television personality, and great, great, great nephew of Sam Moore) has helped to identity a likely candidate. William H. Moore, Henry Moore’s youngest son, wrote the first account of the Moore Family history in 1910. In the manuscript, he mentions Henry Wells, who married William’s older sister Naomi and established a homestead at the northwest end of Gull Lake from the 1830s to 1850s. Henry had a friend he called ‘Old Bob’. Apparently Old Bob was a trapper who had a cabin a little north and west of Henry’s farm, a location that would have put him on or very close to our lake. Since Old Bob was not a member of the Moore family, he was only mentioned in passing and no surname was given in the manuscript. However, he had the right name, he was in the Bob Lake area at the right time, and he had the right occupation to be living here. We may never know for sure, of course, but Old Bob does seem to be the best origin for the name of our lake.
The development of a lake usually coincides with the development of the roads accessing it. Currently there are four road systems that provide access to Bob Lake as shown in the map below. River (Deep Bay) Road is marked in black.
- The northern roads (red) are: Claude Brown Road and Parlees Point Lane.
- The eastern roads (orange) are: Fleming Road, Shakespeare Drive, Brush Trail, Trellis Trail, and the first part of Tennyson Road.
- The southern roads (green) are: Tennyson Road, Lodge Lane, Coaster Lane, Maiden Trail, Coachwhip Lane, and Avonlea Lane.
- The western roads (blue) are: Bob Lake Road, Goose Down Lane, Caldwell Trail, Right Fork Lane, Loggers Crossing Lane, and Ralston Road.
The next four chapters in this history series will deal exclusively with each of the four sides of Bob Lake. The first settlers to have recorded contact with Bob Lake were the Smith family at the north end of the lake. Thus chapter 13 starts with the development on Bob Lake in the north.
Have a comment or contribution? Just use the “Leave a Reply” form below or connect with Greg by submitting the contact form on The History and Stories of Bob Lake page. Chapter 13 coming soon!