The lake was originally spelled Coguagiack, a Native American term used to describe the “undulating” prairie surrounding the lake. This was an area which was home for the Potawatomi tribe and Goguac Lake was said to be a gathering place for them from time to time.

Since being settled by the English in the early nineteenth century, Goguac Lake has provided irrigation for crops, a ready supply of water and a focal point for community recreation.


George Willard guessed that La Salle had camped beside Goguac Lake; the story grew to La Salle’s committing himself on the beauty of this particular body of water. After slogging through swamps around hundreds of lakes in his hasty escape across southern Michigan.


It is doubtful if La Salle had bothered to look at Goguac, much less to comment on its superiority. Of course he had to sleep someplace, Willard figured, so why not beside this lake? Willard also thought
the name Goguac meant Ancient Fort and was given to the lake by the 


Indians. A mound of earth that cut across Waupakisco peninsula was designated Ancient Fort on early maps. Indians seldom gave names to bodies of water and we now know that it was the prairie that was ‘undulating’ — the meaning of the Indian word Coghwagiak. 

The larger bay, in one place 66 feet (20 m) deep, is spring fed, but any number of stories arose as to the cause of cold and warm water only a few feet apart. In the 1890s a few cottagers stocked the lake with fish of desirable kinds for eating and one year brought in some choice eels. That
started stories comparable to those told about the Loch Ness Monster. But the stories disappeared as did the eels. Only one catch, harmless enough, has been reported in the last quarter century. In the 1850s the New York Mercury, a journal which sired the dime novel and our modern
mystery magazines, published a story whose setting was an island in Goguac Lake. The author is unknown. Its main character was a two personality man. He didn’t have two personalities to begin with, like the later Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but had stolen the ‘soul’ and appearance of a
man dying here and placed them in his own sturdy body. The story included plenty of suspense and an evil cat.


Goguac Lake has no known natural outlets and its level changes according to season, going down during dry spells, coming up when there is much rain. An artificial inlet from Minges Brook controls this somewhat. Following a rumor that the lake has a hidden outlet into the Kalamazoo River, a priceless ‘first person’ story was written for a local paper. Suspected as author of the story, and perhaps of the rumor, is William Pease who was owner, editor and possibly sole writer for The Jeffersonian, a short-lived newspaper in Battle Creek. The autobiographical bit told that the author was a visitor, living at the Battle Creek House, and that he was swimming in Goguac Lake when he was sucked into the outlet at the bottom of the
lake. he was swept all the way to the Kalamazoo River. Badly bruised but uninjured, he was not only able to walk but to run back to the hotel and sneak unobserved in the back way. His suit was shamefully torn. Just how he breathed all of that time in a tunnel of water he did not bother to