Check out From Cotton to Cottages (7 Meg pdf file) written by Wilma Allen.
Lake Monomonac was man- made from a small pond in NH that flows into the Monomonac River in Mass (and joins the Millers' River). It grew gradually, beginning in the 1790's with the building of dams that increased in number to 13 by the 1850's to provide power for sawmills, shingle manufacturers, Textile mills, toy manufacturers, and more.
Lake Monomonac today totals 711 acres with 286 in Massachusetts, and 425 in Rindge New Hampshire. The mills are mainly gone. There are 342 property owners and approximately 200 structures on the Massachusetts side of the lake. Approximately 1/3 of those structures are year round homes.
Deepest recorded depth -24 feet - average 10 feet
2 dams at the southeast end of the lake - one large earthen dam, and a smaller poured cement dam down stream about 200 feet. The large earthen dam has a siphon for level control.
In addition, there is a large spillway on the northwest end of the lake that constructed with removable splashboards. The dams are slated for major rebuilding in 2003-2004 and state funding for the project is in place. The town of Winchendon owns the dams and spillway.
Historical water rights data show that the current level maintenance began as early as 1838. The current coffer dam and siphon design was constructed in 1975 after severe flooding. Again in June of 1984 caused flooding and reconstruction of the spillway took place.
The control at the siphon lowers the lake level 6-8 feet every fall so that spring run-off cannot endanger breaching the dams.
Fishing, boating, swimming, sailing all are enjoyed on Lake Monomonac. Hurons, and various duck life abound. There are no 'public beaches' at present.
There is a marina on the northeast end of the lake in New Hampshire that has a public ramp for boat access by non residents. Boat sales, gas and service are available at present.
There is a small state owned 1.6 acre parcel of land on the Mass northeast end of the lake that is undeveloped at present. This could eventually be developed for access. There is also a small town-owned lot on the south west end of the lake nearer the town of Winchendon, undeveloped at present that could give access to the shallower end of the lake downstream from the dams.
Water source is from nearly 90 various streams, springs. Since Lake Monomonac is in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, The Winchendon Springs Lake Association works closely with The Rindge lake association, Monomonac Lake Property Owners' Association (MLPOA) on regular water testing.
In just the last 3 years some evidence of non native milfoil has been
discovered. Several methods have been applied, that include lining the bottom
with plastic to smother the growth, harvesting by hand, and a treatment over two
years, of "Diquat" by Aquatic
The draw down process at the dam also addresses the general weed problem in that winter temperatures freezes out much of the growth along the shallow shorelines.
Calendar of Events
WSLA plans an annual meeting in June for all lake property owners, that addresses recreational and municipal problems concerning lake life for the town of Winchendon, to which town officials, police, environmental specialists attend and contribute. Also a lake wide picnic in July or August that is purely a social event takes place.
WSLA has donated money to Scouts for litter-pick-up days along the lake roads, donated money to the dive team that is involved in dam inspection and siphon adjustments. WSLA has also donated funds towards veterans' projects and keeps in close touch with town officials on road concerns, road safety, and zoning monitoring. Since more and more the area is becoming less 'seasonal' more needs have to be met.
Many of our year round residents are active in town affairs, serving on various boards and committees. This makes for a very stable 'neighborhood'. It's a great place to live!
Copyright © 2006 WSLA Inc.