Hartford Courant, Feb. 8, 1923
‘ZOAR LAKE’ TOO
SULPHRUOUS A NAME
Assembly asked to Name
Waters of Stevenson Dam
“There is still too much of fire and brimstone clinging to the name to make it suitable for the designation of the biggest body of fresh water in the State of Connecticut,” C. P. Sanford of New Haven told the judiciary committee yesterday, in opposing “Lake Zoar” as the name for the lake formed by the Stevenson dam of the Connecticut Light & Power Co., in the Housatonic River between Monroe and Oxford.
The hearing was on House Bill No 270, introduced by Representative Molloy of Derby, to make the name of the body of water, “Humphreys Lake.” Judge MacMathewson of New Haven appeared before the committee and introduced Mr. Sanford, who represented the Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. Sanford told of the career of General Humphreys, a revolutionary general, who had later been U.S. Minister to Portugal and later to Spain.
He said that the lake was called “Lake Stevenson,” as that was the railroad station to which the supplies for building the dam had been shipped and this station had been called Stevenson in honor of an official of the road. It was also called Lake Zoar, he said, because what had been Zoar Bridge was now submerged by the waters of the lake. Zoar, he explained, was a Biblical name, meaning little, and was one of the five cities of the plain. Zoar was spared when fire and brimstone were rained on Sodom and Gomorrah.
Representative Averill of Branford wanted to know what would happen if the practice of asking the General Assembly to name lakes became general, and House Chairman Buckley asked if any of the towns bordering the lake had expressed any preference for a name. Mr. Sanford knew of no such expression, but Senator Ellis said that the towns of Newtown and Southbury had voted in favor of calling the body of water Zoar Lake.
TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: “Zoar” was mistakenly printed as “Zoat” throughout the article. Apparently the typesetter and editor were unfamiliar with the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s request for the town to be spared. For purposes of clarity, the correct spelling is used in this transcription of the original 1923 article.