Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond
Lake Drummond
Lake Drummond is one of only two natural lakes in Virginia. Mountain Lake is the other
Location Chesapeake and Suffolk, Virginia
Coordinates 36°36′08″N 76°28′13″W / 36.60230°N 76.47034°W / 36.60230; -76.47034Coordinates: 36°36′08″N 76°28′13″W / 36.60230°N 76.47034°W / 36.60230; -76.47034
Basin countries United States
Surface area 3,142 acres (13 km2)
Max. depth 6 ft (2 m)

Lake Drummond is located at the center of the Great Dismal Swamp, a marshy region on the Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the United States. Surface area of the lake is approximately 3,142 acres (13 km2) and the maximum depth is six feet. Management of the lake is the responsibility the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Scientists think the Great Dismal Swamp was created when the Continental shelf made its last big shift. The whole swamp has peat underneath. Several theories exist on the origin of Lake Drummond. People have argued the Lake was made by a big underground peat burn about 3,500 to 6,000 years ago. Native American legend talks about "the fire bird" creating Lake Drummond.[citation needed]

Lake Drummond is one of only two natural freshwater lakes in Virginia. The other, Mountain Lake in Giles County is also of unknown origin. Curiously, both are lakes essentially on top of a hill. Lake Drummond is the highest point in the Dismal Swamp, with nine ditches flowing out of it.

The time of the Great Dismal Swamp's discovery is not known precisely but there is archaeological evidence which indicates human occupation began nearly 13,000 years ago. By 1650, few native Americans remained in the area, and European settlers showed little interest in the swamp. In 1665, William Drummond, a future governor of North Carolina, discovered the lake which now bears his name. Several centuries of exploitation and logging reduced the Swamp to about 50% of its original size. It was common practice for merchant ships of the time to fill up water casks with the dark-stained water from Lake Drummond. With its high tannin content, the water would remain fresher longer on trans-Atlantic voyages.

Lake Drummond and much of the Great Dismal Swamp are within the bounds of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1974. North Carolina established a state park to protect another portion.

Due to relatively low pH levels caused by the leaching of acidic materials from surrounding peat soils, the lake has a relatively low level of nutrients. A few species of fish are represented, including Crappie and Bowfin and Longnose gar.


There is a folklore story "Phantom Lovers of Dismal Swamp" that is based entirely around this area.


External links

Satellite Picture by Google Maps Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

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