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Hartford Courant, April 8, 1924



Sons and Daughters of the

Revolution Favor “Lake Humphreys.”

(Special to The Courant)

Washington, D.C., April 7


Change of the name of Lake Humphreys, an artificial body of water near Derby, to Lake Zoar seems likely as the result of an appeal to the National Geographic Board recently made by Congressman P.B. O’Sullivan of Derby, in which he outlined the local controversy over the name which has been in progress for some time.


The lake was created a number of years ago by a dam built across the Housatonic River by the Connecticut Light and Power Company. It lies in the towns of Seymour and Newtown.


The body of water thus formed went unnamed for some time, until the David Humphreys branch of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution requested the National Geographic board to have the lake officially designated as Lake Humphreys, in honor of General David Humphreys, a prominent figure of Revolutionary days whose home was in that locality. The name appeared appropriate, and as it was the only one suggested and seemed to have local endorsement, the boar designated Lake Humphreys as the official title.


The neighborhood seems not to have learned of this action of the board for some time. When it was made known recently much indignation was expressed by some of the populace, who did not consider the name appropriate, and who felt that the S.A.R. had acted unfairly and without securing the true opinion of those who lived in the vicinity of the lake.


The name of Lake Zoar is favored by local people, that being the name of a school district near the Lake, and the term popularly applied to that section of the country.


The name of Lake Humphreys is defended by Ex-Governor Rollin S. Woodruff, Judge A. McC Matheson and Judge Ernest C. Simpson. The S.A.R. has issued pamphlets in an effort to educate the populace as to the appropriateness of naming the lake in honor of the local Revolutionary hero.


The name of Lake Zoar is championed by Dr. Anthony T. Hadley, formerly president of Yale University, and Charles G. Morris of New haven.  As a result of much popular agitation recently, Congressman O’Sullivan appeared before the Geographic Board and personally advocated that the name be changed. Although no action has been taken by the board, the feeling seemed to be that the name should be changed to Lake Zoar on the ground that the present name never was desired by the residents of the locality.


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