No, I didn’t just fall asleep on my keyboard. That’s the 45-letter name of one of the most beautiful lakes in Massachusetts, and it’s more than a mouthful. Located in Webster, this spot holds the record for the longest place name in the country. Want to know more? Read on.
Also known by the far less fun name of Webster Lake, this lake was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago. The Nipmuc people were the earliest known inhabitants of the area. They frequently buried fish from the lake in nearby hills in order to keep the area fertile.
It's the third largest freshwater body of water in the state and is dotted with eight islands, though two are extremely tiny and not suited for habitation.
The name comes from the Algonquin language of Nipmuc, and is frequently cited as meaning "fishing place at the boundaries - neutral meeting grounds." However, anthropologist Ives Goddard suggests that a better translation may be "lake divided by mountains." Sometimes a more tongue-in-cheek translation is bandied about: "You fish on your side, I'll fish on my side, and nobody fishes in the middle."
Obviously, the name is a bit unwieldy. Many residents of the town of Webster take special pride in being able to pronounce the lake's name with ease. A shortened version of the name is sometimes used: Chargoggagoggmanchoggagogg.
Today, the lake is a gorgeous summer destination. Swimmers can expect a snack bar, bathroom and lifeguard on duty during the warmer months. The sane is pebbly but clean, and there are plenty of lovely spots to picnic and soak up some rays. The fish in this lake are known to be pretty fearless, so don't be surprised if you swim into the deeper waters and feel a gentle flick or nipple.
This place is definitely worth a visit. Besides being an absolutely charming spot to lay down a beach blanket, the area is full of awesome photo opportunities.
So how do you say it? Here’s a quick video that will teach you how to reel off that lovely name without a hitch.