This is a place in St. George that people drive by on a regular basis but know little about. To some of us long-time residents we still remember when this was a marshy area similar to the area on the easterly side of Turkey Cove Road across from the entrance to Otis Point Road—an area that would flood during heavy rains, but was home to a meandering stream the rest of the time.
This pond was created in the fall of 1963 by the Town of St. George when it rebuilt the section of road at the head of Watts Cove at a cost of $3,000. A 1965 news article tells us that prior to 1963, when the culvert under the road was down at the level of the brook draining out of the marsh area, this section of road was so dangerous that school buses were not allowed to cross over it.
The idea of flooding the marsh came from Harold Watts. He was a dairy farmer who lived just up the road and had a great interest in preserving things of nature. The 10-acre marsh was part of a larger piece of land owned at the time by Alfred Leppanen, who joined in the idea of creating this beautiful spot. So in 1963 the town built up the road, effectively damming the brook to create the pond. The new road culvert was placed at a higher level to drain the excess water from the new pond. Rebuilding the base of the road made it much safer.
Harold Watts passed away in 1964, a year after the project was completed, and in May of 1965 the area was dedicated to his memory. The weekend of the dedication the local Boy Scout troop planted on the site a grove of red pines that were donated by the State Forestry Department. On the same day more than 1,500 young trout were put into the lake. The plaque to Watts’ memory was also placed on the site. —John Falla
PHOTOS: Top, Dawn Leppanen Gauthier, bottom, John Falla