Fawn Lake: Its History and Recent Restoration ~ A public Bedford Garden Club Program on July 13

Fawn Lake, from Springs Road


Fawn Lake is a treasure in our town, and it’s fascinating history—from the time it was just a spring-fed pond that was made larger by Italian laborers during the 1870s as part of Dr. Hayden’s hotel development, to being gifted to the Town of Bedford in 1978 by Dr. Hayden’s descendants as a conservation gem, to today’s actions by the Town to restore the lake.

Two knowledgeable guest speakers—Town Historian Sharon McDonald and ad hoc Fawn Lake Study and Trails Committee member Michael Barbehenn—will present “Fawn Lake: Its History and Current Restoration Efforts” for the Bedford Garden Club’s July 13 program meeting.  A social period will begin at 9:30 AM, on the grassy area along Sweetwater Avenue adjacent to the lake, followed by a brief business meeting.  The speakers will begin around 10 AM.

This meeting is open to the public.  A rain date of July 14th has been set for the same time and place if needed.

All persons interested in attending are asked to bring a hat and a lawn chair or a blanket on which to sit, as this program will be held on the grass adjacent to the lake.  Chilled water will be available.

Fawn Lake’s interesting history

The first speaker will be Town Historian Sharon McDonald, who will present the history of the lake, including it was developed and “why:” purportedly due to the “curative powers” that its spring-fed waters were thought to have.  Next, the Town’s ad hoc Fawn Lake Study Committee member Michael Barbehenn will describe the modern-day need for significant restoration of the lake, the details of the $1.8 million restoration work that Town Meeting approved, and the recent completion of the refurbishment project.

Sharon McDonald

Town Historian and author Sharon McDonald is always entertaining and factual.  She is the immediate past president of the Friends of the Job Lane House and serves as a volunteer curator at the Job Lane Farm Museum. She is also a volunteer at the Bedford Historical Society and serves on the society’s Board of Directors.

Best known as the Children’s Librarian at the Bedford Free Public Library for 40 years, Ms. McDonald has written three books: The Bedford Flag Unfurled (2000), A Meeting House & its People: The Story of the First Parish in Bedford (2017), and Bedford History for Kids, published in 2020 to help young readers understand more about Bedford.

Michael Barbehenn

Michael Barbehenn has volunteered on various Town committees for over a decade.  In addition to his service on the ad hoc Fawn Lake Study Committee which identified various options for restoring Fawn Lake, he is a member of the Town’s Trails Committee, and chaired that committee in 2013.  He currently co-chairs the Conservation Land Stewards – a group of town residents established through the Town’s Conservation Commission that monitors the Town’s conservation areas and contributes time and energy to improvements on the land.

Barbehenn also served on the Land Acquisition Committee until that committee was retired last year by the Select Board.

This is expected to be an interesting program about an important conservation resource for the Town of Bedford: for fishing, kayaking, ice skating, ice hockey, and nature walks around its perimeter.

~ Submitted by the Bedford Garden Club