Ganoga Lake is a natural spring-fed lake in southeastern Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. Known as Robinson’s Lake and Long Pond for most of the 19th century, the lake was purchased by the Ricketts family in the early 1850s. The current owner, William Reynolds Ricketts, claimed it was the highest lake in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.
About Ganoga Lake in brief
Ganoga Lake is a natural spring-fed lake in southeastern Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. Known as Robinson’s Lake and Long Pond for most of the 19th century, the lake was purchased by the Ricketts family in the early 1850s. The Ricketts built a stone house on the lake shore by 1852 or 1855; this served as a hunting lodge and tavern. In 1873 a large wooden addition was built north of the stone house, which became a hotel known as the North Mountain House. The lake is on the Allegheny Plateau at an elevation of 2,260 feet. The Wisconsin Glaciation some 20,000 years ago changed the drainage patterns of the lake. This diverted its waters to Kitchen Creek and carved the 24 named waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park in the process. Ganoga Lake has a continental climate, with average monthly high temperatures ranging from 33 °F in January to 82 °C in July. Its drainage basin is heavily forested and it is in an Important Bird Area. The state tried to purchase the lake in 1957, but was outbid by a group of investors who turned the land around it into a private housing development; as such it is “off limits” to the public. After the death of R. Bruce Ricketts in 1918, his heirs sold much of his 80,000 acres to the state for Pennsylvania State Game Lands and Ricketts Glenn State Park. After this, the lands of the Susquehanna River valley were encouraged to settle there under the nominal control of the Iroquoian-speaking Susquois tribes.
The earliest recorded inhabitants of the basin were the Six Nations, who were displaced by disease and warfare with the Five Nations of the Sixteenth Century. The Iroquois were reduced to 16, and by 1675, they had moved away, or moved out, or been assimilated into other tribes. They died out, and they had been displaced to the east, which led to the creation of the Pennsylvania Game Lands in 1881. The current owner, William Reynolds Ricketts, claimed it was the highest lake in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains; Petrillo repeats this in his history of the region, Ghost Towns of North Mountain. In its largest dimensions it is 3,720 feet long by 1,025 feet wide. It has an average depth of 10 feet and a maximum depth of 13 feet. The drainage basin for the lake is an area of 1.5 square miles, and its capacity is 373 acre feet . A branch of Kitchen Creek flows from the southern end of theLake; 0. 4 miles downstream it enters Lake Jean in Rickett’s Glen state Park. From there the water flows through Ganoga and its 10 named water falls, then joins the main stem of the creek at Waters Meet; below it is a tributary of Huntington Creek, which flows into the Fishing Creek. The waterfalls are named after five more more than five more names.