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Big Pond

Big Pond is described in Mrs. Heiser's Book, Hamilton in the Making. "A change in the course of the river not many years before the opening of the Northwest Territory left a decidedly baleful condition about a mile below Fort Hamilton," she wrote. "This was the Big Pond, said to have covered 100 acres of land. Old plats show that it was shaped like a big question mark, which trailed off and lost its dot in the river. It was quite broad in the loop at the top, which fitted closely into a high embankment (west of present South Hamilton). Formerly, the river had made one of its fantastic loops here.

Then came a flood, date unrecorded, which helped the river cut a straightened channel, leaving this evidence of its former course," she observed. The pond was a health hazard. "Chills and fever caused the death of many soldiers in the fort," Mrs. Heiser said, "and continued to cause trouble for the people who settled near." Starting in 1831, "a tax was levied to raise money for draining the pond," allowing the task to begin, but the project wasn't completed and later became tangled in legal controversies. By the 1840s, only two or three acres remained under water. Later, the Big Pond was included in the area known as Peck's Addition. (Also see Big Black Swamp.)


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