Mystery Place: First person to claim land here needed a do-over

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Ginny Hall | June 26, 2017

North Lake is northwest of Elkhorn off County Highway A in the town of Sugar Creek. Take North Lake Drive and you will see a good number of houses surrounding the south side of the lake.

If you head north out of Millard on County Highway O, you also can see the  lake by heading west on one of the two roads north of Millard. One goes to the southeast side of the lake, while the other heads  toward the northeast end of the lake. There are a number of homes along this route.

The 1882 History of Walworth County describes the lake as being 1.5 miles long and half a mile wide. It contains a variety of fish, with pickerel, bass and perch the most common.

Plat books prior to 1904 show  that the lake was called Holden's Lake in honor of James Holden. 

Holden was the first white man to view the lake. In 1837 he settled in what is now Sugar Creek Township. After he went to Fort Dearborn (Chicago) for supplies,  he came back to discover that his claim had been jumped. He headed north and claimed land in Heart Prairie.

He had a home on the north side of the lake. He also named the prairie north of there Heart Prairie because of its shape. Holden died on Feb. 22, 1880, at age 66. The 1882 history indicates that he had a cabin in Section 5. His grandson still lives in the area.



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