Monadnock Moments No. 33: The Legend of Granite Lake
There is a legend about Granite Lake, a body of water that lies in the towns of Stoddard and Nelson. This story offers us a picture of life in the region before white settlers arrived.
According to the legend, the island in the lake was at that time inhabited by an old Indian chief by the name of Pokahoket and his beautiful daughter Mamowich. One day a handsome young Frenchman arrived at the shore of the lake while hunting, and noticed the smoke from Pokahoket’s campfire. He went and visited the island and was welcomed by the father and daughter.
The pair fascinated the young hunter and he lingered by the lake, visiting the island often. Pokahoket was crippled and the Frenchman often brought fresh game to the father and daughter. They all became close friends.
As summer gave way to autumn, Mamowich realized that she had fallen deeply in love with their handsome young friend. She waited at his campsite one evening until he returned from hunting and made her feelings known to him. The young man’s surprise and embarrassment told Mamowich that her love was unrequited. The pain was too much for her to bear. She fled to her canoe, paddled quickly to the island and flung herself from its high cliffs and into the water.
The young French hunter now realized that he had stayed too long at the lake. Overcome with grief, he paddled to rescue Mamowich, but she never came to the surface. Pokahoket died shortly thereafter, still hoping for the return of his beautiful young daughter.
It is said that Mamowich still haunts the island and the granite ledges that rise from the cold, dark waters of Granite Lake.