Lake George is an artificial lake created in 1846 by Hobart's founder, George Earle. George built a dam on the northwestern part of the town to power a grist mill. The dam, which slows the flow of Deep River, produces a nice size lake. The Mill was the symbol of Hobart and was a favorite subject for artists. A beautiful tall 5 story barn-like structure created a peaceful reflection on the lake. On Feb. 15th, 1953 a spectacular fire consumed the century old historic landmark.
Lake George is pretty to look at but the build up of silt and mud from farmland and construction make Lake George unsuitable for swimming. There has been talk for years about cleaning up the lake. It would be a tremendous task due to its size. A few attempts have been tried. The only thing that was accomplished was the removal of a few tons of silt. There was a willingness to try but that's all that the budget would allow. The idea still simmers though.
*** Update! The dredging was started in the spring of 2000! 2.8 million dollars was budgeted for the clean up. 500,000 cubic yards of silt were removed from the lake. The dredging was completed in the fall of 2000. Click for pictures!
*** Update 2019: Was the dredging a success? Hobart is currently looking at an alternative to the sediment problem in Lake George. You can read about it here.
North of the dam there was an old brick factory. They quarried the clay used to produce the bricks from what was known as the Clay Pit. In the early days clay was hauled out by horse and buggy. Over the years the pit grew very large. It has sheer edges and is very deep. It has since been filled with water and is now called Hidden Lake. It is clean, clear and full of fish. Hidden Lake Apartments now owns the property on which the Clay Pit sits and gave it its more colorful name. Oh, look over there!