Dead Lakes?


You’ve seen the sign when you enter Wewahitchka: “Home of the Famous Dead Lakes.”

The “Dead Lakes” are mentioned in all the tourist brochures, newspapers, and other writings. Since it’s plural; can anyone out there name the “Dead Lakes”?

We have the Great Lakes, they all have names, from Superior to Erie. So what are the “Dead Lakes” names? Of course, there are none.

Take a look at my two map examples. Both are state maps; one from Game and Fish printed in 1959 and the other, a state, Gulf County map of 1973.

Notice that both refer to the Dead Lake -- not Dead Lakes. The reason, there is only one lake -- singular, not plural.

Those “old timers” knew their cartography, they could count, and use proper English. Apparently a few decades ago, someone in their writings added an “s”, either accidentally or to delude the naïve tourist into thinking there were many lakes to fish.

We’ll never know. As newcomers came in, they never questioned the “s” and kept repeating it.

In the mid-20th century, a dam was built to keep the lake from getting too low during dry seasons. The plan was to keep enough water in the lake so the fishing would be good. It didn’t work. The dam prevented the flushing action of the lake and the fish beds silted-over. It was taken-out in the late l980’s. Even so, this dam did not create any new “lakes.”

So, I ask, in the name of common sense and proper English, that the writer of booklets, brochures, signs, newspapers, and other articles to begin referring to the lake in its proper name --- Dead Lake.