In 2017, my Uncle Lyman visited me in Northfield, Minnesota, while I was attending Carleton College. It was the summer before my junior year, and this was the first time anyone from my family had visited me on campus since freshman move-in day, so I was eager to give him the tour. Of course, the highlight of the tour was our walk around Lyman Lakes—two small, manmade lakes on the east side of campus. Lyman joked that they were named after him. It’s not the first time he’s made a similar joke—Lyman placenames tend to pop up everywhere we go. There’s a Lyman Lake in Washington, and a Lyman Lake State Park in Arizona. There are two Lyman ponds in Greater Boston, one of which is attached to the Lyman Estate in Waltham. When my uncle visits later this year, I’m sure we’ll visit both.
While these are just jokes, I have a feeling that there could be a touch of truth to them. If my uncle and I really have a familial connection to the picturesque lakes on my college campus, or the man who commissioned their construction, I’d like to know. A quick stop to my alma mater’s information page on the lakes supplied a good starting point for my research. The lakes were built around 1916-1917 in honor of George Huntington Lyman (1882-1902) of Minneapolis, Minnesota.1 A campus viewbook from 1926 named Lyman Lakes as the “George Huntington Lyman Memorial Lakes.”2 Continue reading Yes, the Lakes are My Cousins