History abounds on Fryeburg's Lovewell Pond, in western Maine. Lovewell Pond was the site of a fight between native Americans and colonists in 1725, and a difference of opinion between the Nestle Corporation and town residents in more recent years.
The battle of Pigwacket (Pequawket), known as "Lovewell's Fight," took place on May 8, 1725, on the shores of Saco Pond. The pond was later renamed for Captain John Lovewell of Dunstable, who commanded a company of 46 colonists. Both Captain Lovewell and Chief Paugus lost their lives in this fight. "The Scalp Hunters: Abenaki Ambush at Lovewell Pond-1725" by Alfred E. Kayworth and Raymond G. Potvin provides an historical look at events leading up to this epic battle.
More recently, Nestle Corporation, which owns Poland Springs Bottling Company, and Fryeburg residents, including 90-something year old Howard Dearborn, who lives on Lovewell Pond, disagreed about groundwater extraction.
In January 2009, Normandeau Associates, Environmental Consultants of Bedford, New Hampshire, completed a report entitled, "Lovewell Pond Watershed Phosphorus Loading Analysis," as part of a project titled, "Continuation of Wards Brook/Lovewell Pond Study."
According to the report, the purpose of the project was "to develop a quantitative phosphorous budget for Lovewell Pond in an attempt to better evaluate the potential impact of groundwater withdrawals from the Wards Brook watershed on Lovewell Pond water quality."
Conclusions reached were "that the potential near-term land use changes were not likely to result in major increases in total phosphorus in Lovewell Pond, but that continuing urbanization of the watershed in the long-term could result in significant increases in in-take phosphorus and consequently significant declines in water quality . . . The impact of groundwater withdrawal from the Wards Brook aquifer, in the volumes currently permitted, on total phosphorus concentrations in Lovewell Pond is expected to [be] slight and negative (i.e. reduced phosphorus), resulting in a slight improvement in water quality."
This report is available on the Lovewell Pond Association Web site.
The Lovewell Pond Association is dedicated to caring for and preserving the pond. Among other things, members participate in the Voluntary Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) to test a range of elements that indicate overall water quality. The VLMP works in conjunction with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Their testing indicates the water quality is slightly below average, based on measures of transparencies, total phosphorus and Chlorophyll-a.
Lovewell Pond covers 1,120 acres and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks it with brown trout. Other fish caught here include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white perch and chain pickerel. A state-owned boat ramp is located at the southern end of the pond-the entrance is across from the Eastern Slopes Regional Airport on Route 113.
To canoe here, you might want to rent from Saco River Canoe. It's fun to canoe along the Saco from Walker's Rip to the pond, a distance of 2 miles. After exploring the shoreline and paddling out to Loon Island to swim and enjoy the views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, listen for the flute-like song of the hermit thrush, before continuing from the Saco River outlet to Brownfield Bridge, 5.9 miles away.