If you look up #lakeerielove on Instagram you’ll see that there are nearly 60,000 posts that use the hashtag. Those posts are put there by people that, for one reason or another, love lake Erie! We’re big fans of the hashtag ourselves @crews_quarters on Instagram and use it frequently. The question is: Why? What does #lakeerielove really stand for anyway? I can’t profess to know what it means for everybody, but I will take some time to explain what it means to me, why #lakeerielove is such an important part of who I am.
If you want to understand and love a person (or a lake!), you need to know who they were and how they got to be who they are today! So let’s start our journey on learning about #lakeerielove by learning it’s history and some cool facts.
According to LiveScience, Lake Erie is the 11th largest lake in the world. It’s over 388km (241 miles) long with a surface area of over 9,910 miles and holds some 116 cubic miles of water, or 127,729,587,162,511 US gallons! That is a lot of lake to love.
The name itself comes from the Erie people, a Native American people that once called the lake’s shores their home. Nowadays lake Erie is home to different people, many millions of them, and it’s where I call home too. My family and I bought a property on the north eastern shores of Lake Erie over a decade ago.
Lake Erie is a lot younger than most people think, just over 4,000 years in fact. It was carved out of the ground during a recent ice age. The shores of lake Erie produce a lot of fossils, dating anywhere from 240 million to 400 million years old. At that time in the earth’s history the area that Lake Erie now inhabits was a shallow sea, long before dinosaurs even existed. We find a lot of fossils as we walk along the beach and enjoy sharing them with friends when they come to visit.
Did you know that Lake Erie has it’s own version of the Loch Ness Monster? Known as “Bessie“, it was first spotted in 1793 by a captain of the sloop Felicity. Since then reports have continued and the legend has grown.
My Personal Connection
My family and I moved to the shores of Lake Erie in 2008 and it has forever changed our lives. Simple things like falling asleep to the sound of the waves at night through open bedroom windows, or like watching the kids play in the water for hours on end. Walks along the shoreline collecting mermaid tears and fossils, or early mornings watching the sunrise over the lake. Kayaking and paddle boarding. Snorkeling. Finding bits of washed up ship wrecks. Seeing my dog frolic in the waves. Coming home, every day, to a smell that is 100% lake. The physical reality and connection to the lake is very, very real and trans-formative.
I’ve been coming to the lake for nearly my entire life. The house I now live in once belonged to my Uncle. When he passed away, a family member suggested we buy the house, and we did just that. My home is a place I can remember from my childhood as well as I came out to it often (before it was mine) to visit my Uncle. When I was a little bit older and my now husband and I were dating we would come out to visit as well. I miss my Uncle dearly but love the idea that we get to carry on his life here in a way. I hope I live in this same house for the rest of my life. I love it that much. The connection of my past, present and future all have ties to Lake Erie.
A more recent connection to the lake was me taking over Crew’s Quarters in Port Colborne. For those that know and support the store, thank you! For everybody else, we hope you’ll come visit us sometime. My husband and I took the store over in the spring of 2018 to ensure that it’s 29 year legacy would continue. It’s been a pretty big deal for us as now we not only live on the lake but own a business on it’s waters as well. We’ve gone from being residents of the lake to contributors to it’s livelihood. That feels really, really good. If you have some time, come visit us at the store!