Wechquadnach and Indian Lake

(Sharon, Connecticut)

Main attributes of this Native American place: Native name; In Tribal history; Native practices;
Landscape; In historic documents.

Indian Lake (sometimes called Indian Pond or Wechquadnach Lake) is located in the northwest corner of the Township of Sharon. The western extremity of the lake extends into New York State. Prior to the incorporation of Sharon in 1739members of the Native American community of Wechquadnach occupied a settlement on the eastern shores of the lake. After 1740, Moravian missionaries were actively involved with the community, which included Mohicans and members of other tribes. The missionaries referred to the lake as “Gnadensee” (“Lake of Grace”) and wrote journals that provided vivid insights into the everyday lives of the people of Wechquadnach. The Indian community seems to have been closely linked to Pishgatikuk (in the Kent area) in terms of family relations, but followed the policy decisions of the Mohican leadership at Wnahktakook (Stockbridge). The Native people of Wechquadnach pursued various means to maintain a land base in Sharon following the town’s incorporation, including petitions of the Connecticut General Assembly. Many members of the community eventually migrated to Pennsylvania to join other Indian converts to the Moravian missions.

Contributor: Timothy Binzen

SOURCES

Binzen, Timothy L. 1997. Mohican Lands and Colonial Corners: Weataug, Wechquadnach and the Connecticut Colony 1675-1750. M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs.

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