Lake Morey: Still Skating After All These Years

Gorgeous Day, Great Tradition.

When I woke up on Friday morning, I had no idea I'd be going skating.  My wife asked me if I wanted to go to Lake Morey with her, and I happily agreed.  I had not been skating in a couple years, but love to skate when the conditions are right.  Friday was forecast to go up into the high 30's, with plenty of sunshine, and we'd had plenty of sub-freezing weather so the ice was nice and thick.

A first look at Lake Morey when we arrived on Friday morning, 2/22/2019

                                    Skaters lacing up for a morning of fun

The folks who groom the ice do a particularly nice job.  They  groom an entire loop around the lake, four and a half miles long.  It's the longest skating trail in the United States, with a shortcut across the middle.  This year they also had some very nice lanes for skating on the southern end of the lake. Caution is advised though, as there were some bumpy spots.  But overall, there was plenty of good smooth ice for skating. 

Testing the ice....nice!

Just a gorgeous day to be out on Lake Morey

School vacation week provides some nice family time. A nice benefit to skating at Lake Morey is that you get to do it with other people, and you get to see a lot of children learning to skate, or just having fun being pulled around on a sled!

Families skating along the lanes

There were also several rinks cleared off for games of hockey, or just skating around.

Nicely groomed rinks and lanes

When the wind blew, it was brisk and chilly, but when the wind died down, it was just wonderful out there on the sun filled frozen lake.

A skater, some plow banks, and an ice shanty on Lake Morey

The bright sun gave us a good look at the camps and homes along the shoreline.  Some camps look like they have a lot of history, and some look like they could be brand new year-round homes. 

Camps and homes along the shores of Lake Morey

Camps on the western shore of Lake Morey

A newer camp or home, on the eastern shore of Lake Morey

-------------------------------------------A Little History----------------------------------------------

Old times on Lake Morey

Lake Morey was known as "Fairlee Pond", until 1890, when it was named "Lake Morey" after Captain Samuel Morey, resident of Fairlee Vermont and Orford New Hampshire, who was the inventor of the paddlewheel steamboat.

Lake Morey and the Lake Morey Inn, 20th century

Samuel Morey built the first steamboat, and tested it on both the Connecticut River and Fairlee Pond.  Legend has it that one of Samuel Morey's boats lies submerged at the bottom of the lake. 

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Construction of the Lake Morey Inn began in 1905.  By 1915 a 9-hole golf course, was added, which has since been expanded to 18 holes.  Additions and renovations have occurred since the early days of the Inn, and today the Lake Morey Inn is a world class conference center as well as a country Inn with a long history.

The Lake Morey Inn in 2019

The Lake Morey Inn has been in existence for over 110 years.  Today, in the 21st century, we're thankful to them for providing such a great spot for free recreational skating, an exhilarating winter activity that people have been enjoying for centuries.  

The historic home near Lake Morey, where Captain Samuel Morey died, April 17, 1843

Image from 1933 USGS Map

Thanks for reading and subscribing to "Old Roads, Rivers and Rails". 

You may also like this article on the "Lake Fairlee Ice Shanty Ghost Town"

- Bob Totz, February 2019

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