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Higgins Lake History

Higgins Lake has a long and storied history, having originated after the last ice age left the state many thousands of years ago. Attached, below, are several documents you may click on to help in expanding your knowledge of our beautiful lake. The first of these documents is a brief history of the lake as prepared by Board member Bruce Carleton:

A Brief History of Higgins Lake

Below are two additional documents that provide more of a science-based introduction on the formation of Higgins Lake. The first is a recent article on “Glacial Lake Roscommon” that appeared in the July 5, 2018 issue of the Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper. It documents the existence of a very large lake, encompassing Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake and Lake St. Helen, that was created approx. 20,000 years ago, as the last Ice Age waned in Michigan.  A team of scientists from MSU, Univ. of Cincinnati, Univ. of Illinois and North Dakota State Univ. have theorized this ancient lake, at one time, may have covered an area twice the size of Roscommon County.

Following this is a 1921 Report published by the State of Michigan Geological and Biological Survey. The discussion of Higgins Lake begins on page 18 of this report and it describes the geological formation of the lake, providing factual information on the lake’s level over the thousands of years after the Ice Age ended. As the article states, at one point in time many thousands of years ago, the lake level stabilized at 16 feet above today’s level. Several thousands of years later, as the ground continued to rebound without the weight of a mile or more thickness of ice covering it, the lake level stabilized again at about 8 feet above today’s level.  After several thousand more years, it stabilized at 2 feet above today’s level for a period of time before it eventually stabilized at today’s level. When reading about Higgins Lake in this nearly 100 year old report, familiar landmarks mentioned therein had different names assigned to them, as follows:

  • Chicago Point is now known as Point Detroit
  • State Forest is an area of the lake in Crawford County
  • Saginaw Grounds/Bay City Grounds area is now known as Lakeside/Cottage Grove/Pinewood
  • Cole is an area located on the north end of what is now known as Pine Bluffs
  • Parker Point, former site of the old Parkers Hotel, is now known as Flag Point
  • Highland Point now includes an area now known as Almeda Beach

The existence of credible scientific information such as this sheds new light on the oft-debated topic of: “What is the natural level of Higgins Lake?”

Glacial Lake Roscommon – July, 2018 HL Resorter Article

1921 State of Michigan Geological Survey — Higgins Lake