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Scene In TimeWHAT’S IN A NAME: Goguaccoarse rock fragments forming the hilly ridges called terminal moraines. Overin Sonoma, stretching... six or eight miles southward from Goguac and 25 miles east and west, is a terminal mo- raine... Just north of Territorial Road, towards the city, is traced the moraine formed at the next halting place of the ice-sheet, which we may call the Battle Creek moraine. As the ice slowly moved northward, during the next resumption of climate change, from the Sonoma resting place to this later one near Battle Creek, the waters issuing from its melting front built up an outwash plain of gravel and sand. The melting back of the ice-frontBY ELIZABETH NEUMEYERBrigham Sr. and Berenice Bryant Lowe who were recently inducted into the 2019 Battle Creek Central High School Hall of Fame for their preserving of our his- tory including Goguac’s natural history as well as its written history. The Lowes even built their home on the lake.Lowe described this in a more enter- taining way in her Tales of Battle Creek (pp. 3-4).According to varioussources, the name Goguac(pronounced GO-gwack)comes from a Potawatomiword Coguagiack meaningwaving grasses. Curious ifthis was at all accurate, Iconsulted a Heritage speak-er, Don Perrot. He is one offew Potawatomi left wholearned his native languagefirst and is fluent in it. He isan elder of the Prairie Bandof Potawatomi of Kansasand works as a consultantand dedicated teacher ofthe language. Perrot saidthe actual word would be “kegwagyek” and refers to a bowl-like depression that has water in it surround- ed by trees and high grasses... much like a prairie... so someone was on the right track.” He said the word is inclusive of the bowl or lake as well as the surround- ing area.The melting continued under the high ice, pushing and swooshing the debris and water southward from where it [the glacier] stood. That’s the way Goguac Prairie – a moraine – was made. It was leveled off like a mushy mud pie. A block of ice broke off and was covered withA prairie, lake, and street are named Goguac here in Battle Creek. This article concen- trates on the name itself and the lake. This is also a trib- ute to Edward M.Sonoma moraine and on the north by the Battle Creek moraine. The surface of the country between the moraines, in which the lake lies, is partly of deposits made by the bottom of the ice-sheet, but more largely of the covering out-wash plain.soil for perhaps a hundred years. When the ice melted, the soil fell to the bottom, leaving an isolated bowl of water, now Goguac Lake.Aerial view of Goguac Lake from the south looking north.Vince’s Gould’s Islands are in the foreground with Ward’s Island in the distance. (courtesy of Local History Collection, Willard Library)The following quote is from a longer paper written by Brigham in response to a local citizen who wanted to know about the geologic history of Goguac Lake. Berenice Bryant Lowe had the paper printed in her ‘Looking Back” series in the Battle Creek Enquirer and News, July 13, 1969, p. A-4.was faster along the ridges, for therethe ice was relatively thin. Hence the thicker bodies of ice in the valleys remained long after the uplands were laid bare. These extensions of ice often became detached from the mainsheet which melted away from them. Such a separated body of ice is believed to have rested in what is now Goguac’s basin – a portion of valley that was formed before the last ice sheet came. This detached ice is believed to have been protectedFor more information on the lake, read the sections on the lake in Lowe’s Tales as well as an extensive article by Laura Nisbet in Volume 2 of Heritage Battle Creek Journal of Local History, Spring 1992 “‘Where Beauty Dwells Unbidden’ Goguac Lake 1870-1930” pp. 22-31. For photos, see historical photos on the Wil- lard Library site as well as Heritage Battle Creek Photojournals, Volumes 3 (1992), and 5 (1993), and Kurt Thornton’s Battle Creek: Images of America (2004).As it came south, the ice-sheet gathered vast quantities of broken rock which became more or less ground up or rounded off by the movements of the ice. Some of the rock material was merely rounded into boulders, some was reduced to gravel, sand, and clay. At places of long halting, the melting ice-front dropped vast quantities ofby a covering of gravel, sand, and clay spread over it by the outwash from the Battle Creek moraine. A few feet of such protective debris would preserve the ice for centuries under conditions of a slow- ly changing climate. Eventually however, the climate grew warm enough to melt the buried ice and the protective sheet of gravel and sand sink to form a lining for its basin. Goguac Lake, then, occupies part of a section of pre-glacial valley which is banked up on the south by theThank you to Donald Perrot for allow- ing me to quote his email answer (March 5, 2009). See his website to learn about the language and to contribute to his work: Perrot periodi- cally comes to the NHBP reservation in Fulton, Michigan to teach.26 SCENE 4405 I CELEBRATING SENIORSAlthough you may not realize it, you are on the Battle Creek moraine as you drive up Riverside to Columbia or up Territori- al to Capital. You are as- cending this glacial hill de- scribed by Brigham. Most of the city of Battle Creek sits on a large outwash plain with another moraine, the Kalamazoo, to the north and west.For more on geology, go to the King- man Museum where they have an inter- active exhibit on glacial formations. If you want more, read Dorr and Eschman’s Geology of Michigan.

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