About Lake Boon

The Lake was originally named “Boon’s Pond” after Matthew Boon, an explorer from Charlestown, Massachusetts who settled here around 1660. About 1870, a dam was built where the Lake flowed into the Assabet River. Although this was done to provide a constant water supply for power to a mill in Maynard, the result was to expand the “pond” (what is now called The First Basin) into Ramshorn Meadow (now The Second Basin) and swamp (now The Third and Fourth Basins). At this point, the locals began calling it “Lake Boon”.

In the late 1800’s because of its easy access from Boston via two railroad lines, the area flourished. It supported a hotel, several “clubs”, two post offices, churches and stores. Ferry service from the railroad depots (Whitman’s Crossing near the Sudbury Rd bridge and Ordway Station in Hudson) to many points on the Lake was initiated around 1900 by the steamship “Cleo”. By 1910, this was replaced by the gas-powered “Princess”. With the passage of time, better roads and the automobile, enabled people to explore other vacation lands, ending this golden age.

Lake Boon Book: For additional information on the history of Lake Boon, pickup the “Images of America – Lake Boon” by Lewis Halprin and Alan Kattelle. Although you have many choices, you are encouraged to purchase the book directly from the Lake Boon Association to help our fund raising efforts.

Lake Statistics – (Approximate)

First Basin: 23 feet
Second Basin: 10 feet
Third Basin: 7 feet
Fourth Basins: 4 feet
Size – 163 acres
Length – 11/2 miles
Watershed area 1,076 acres

Lake Organizations

Lake Boon Association (LBA) – Incorporated in 1921 as the Lake Boon Improvement Association, Inc., it is currently known as The Lake Boon Association. Although its name has changed throughout the years, its Charter has always been to foster, maintain and improve the quality of the environmental and recreational aspects of Lake Boon.

Mission Statement – It is the mission of the Lake Boon Association and the Lake Boon Commission to preserve, protect and enhance the environmental, aesthetic, recreational and economic value of Lake Boon, and to strive for a sensible balance between recreational activities and healthy wildlife habitats through in-lake and watershed management.

Membership in the Association may be any persons who are permanent or summer residents or owners of property around Lake Boon or any other interested parties. Officers are elected at an annual meeting held in the Spring. Directors are appointed annually by the President.

Activities – Although originally founded to emphasize recreational activities, its emphasis has been modified to include the environment. Toward that end, there have been fund raising, recreational and educational activities. Fund raising and recreational activities to date have included: walkathons, raffles, dances, boat parades, water carnivals, music boat/lighting of the Lake and flea markets. The educational activities have been directed toward understanding the nature of some of the problems and defining actions individual Lake residents can take to minimize deterioration of Lake quality.

In order to support and have a say in these activities, you are urged to join the LBA.

Newsletter – The LBA also publishes the “Lake Boon Gazette”, a newsletter that keeps the Lake’s residents informed of upcoming events and current ecological activities.

Email News – If you have friends or neighbors who would like to be added to the Lake Boon Association email distribution list, forward this message to them so they can make a request to grayscale@earthlink.net.

Lake Boon Commission (LBC)- Created in 1941 by the State Legislature through the Acts of 1941, Chapters 712 and 713, this Commission consists of three members (two from Stow and one from Hudson) who are appointed by the Boards of Selectmen of each Town. This unpaid Commission is empowered to regulate recreational activities and the use of motorboats. A copy of Lake regulations and the Massachusetts’s Boater’s Guide is highly recommended. Monthly Commission meetings (held May – October) are open to the public and are usually held at the Stow Town Building. Dates and times are posted in both Stow and Hudson.

Friends of Lake Boon (FLB)- This group was primarily concerned with the ecology of the Lake. They examined the Lake’s water quality and weed problems and contracted environmental firms to perform diagnostic/feasibility studies with hopes to minimize/reverse lake eutrophication. The group announced its disbanding at the 2002 LBA annual meeting held in January 2003.

Lake Boon Quality Assurance Team (LBQAT) – a team appointed by the Lake Boon Commission (LBC) in 2002 to oversee the DEM Lakes and Ponds grant awarded to the Town of Stow. The team consists of members from the Lake Boon Association (LBA), the LBC, the Friends of Lake Boon (FLB), and one member each from the Conservation Commissions of the towns of Hudson and Stow.

If there are other questions, do not hesitate to call any of the LBA officers.

We know you will enjoy the Lake and hope to see you at the next LBA meeting.

9 thoughts on “About Lake Boon

  1. Lake Boon is so dirty especially as August rolls around. Is there any kind of treatment that can be used to help keep the water clean?

    • Yep. Later in the summer is a perfect storm for many lakes in MA, and our lake is certainly impacted. Boat traffic stirring up the muck all season and run-off from rain storms don’t help but the real issue is cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae). Most of the time, it looks like pea soup in the lake with green chunks floating around – it brings the visibility down significantly and looks awful. But in the amount we have, it is not a health issue. There are some things that can treat it but it is tricky because a) putting more chemicals in the lake might have a negative impact on other things (but it might not), b) it is a large area to be treated and is expensive, and c) we lack volunteers to help organize something like that.

  2. Would Lycott Environmental be able to tell us what kind of chemicals can be used to treat this? Cyanobacteria can be toxic so I wonder if testing may be appropriate. Too bad a portion of Stow’s tax money couldn’t be dedicated to trying to keep this lake safe and clean.

    • Hi Joyce. Lycott has said they use Alum on algae blooms that include cyanobacteria – I will ask them for details they next time I talk with them. The board of health has been involved as well over the years (this is not a new problem) but in the amounts we have at the lake, they report that nothing is needed at this time. Money is not the problem, the town of Stow and Hudson continues to give money for lake management. The problem is volunteers willing to coordinate and do the follow-up work necessary. If you know of anyone that is interested in working with Lycott, the BOH and the LBC on this please let me know.

  3. What would be involved in the volunteering piece? I don’t have any background/knowledge about these kind of environmental issues. I would think you need someone who could bring insight to the community correct?

    • No environmental experience is required in my opinion – although it would certainly help. When I started volunteering with the LBC back in 2006, there was no really lake management or herbicide treatment being done on the lake. I picked it up, filed some paperwork that someone pointed me to and after a long process of facilitating things between Lycott and the towns, we got town funds approved and started treatment in 2007 that has happened every year since. My point being that I had/have no environmental experience and still managed to get it done. It just takes someone to take the time to track things down.

  4. Alum, or aluminum sulfate Al2(SO4)3, is a coagulant and flocculating agent. Coagulation is facilitated by alum and is the process where charges between suspended particles are neutralized and allows flocculation to occur. flocculation is a process where neutralized suspended particles collide with each other and stick together forming larger particles. by adding alum, we break down the opposing forces between suspended particles and allow them to clump together and settle down. Stokes law states that a particle’s settling velocity in a fluid is directly proportional to particle diameter; the bigger it is, the faster it falls. Alum does not get rid of cyanobacteria, it just makes it settle to the bottom. However the problem is settling only occurs when you have nearly still water which is not going to happen with the heavy boat traffic in the late summer. Even if some were to settle out, it would get kicked back up in suspension with turbulent waters. In water treatment, alum is effective because the coagulation and flocculation occurs in a controlled environment where proper mixing and settled particle removal can occur. The application of alum to clarify a small lake unfortunately is not feasible.

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