Nestling among the richly wooded hills and valleys of the County of Wellington, and not far from the thriving village of Hespeler, lies Puslinch Lake, a sheet of water rejoicing in a name which is decidedly not especially euphonious, but is derived from a little incident characteristic of the history of the early settlers and of the trifling events that give rise to the names of some of the most beautiful and romantic of Canadian scenes.
In the days when Western Canada was one vast forest, scarcely broken by a few clearings of very limited extent, a family from the Niagara district penetrated as far as this locality, and attracted by the glistening waters of a lake which appeared among the dark green foliage of the forest, made their way towards it. When they had nearly arrived upon its margin, their wagon came to a standstill, stuck hard and fast in the swampy ground near a thicket composed for the most part of “pitcher plants”. For hours they toiled to extricate it, but to no purpose. At length, they were agreeably surprised by the appearance of a man named Lynch, who had for some time lived near the spot, and who very kindly offered his services. “Push Lynch”, said the new settler, as with renewed hope he put his shoulders to the wheel, and between them they managed to get the wagon out of the swamp. So relieved was the emigrant on finding himself onec more able to proceed, that in commemoration of the event and the aid received from the stranger, he named the lake “Push Lynch”, which has since degenerated into “Pushlinch” and “Puslinch”.
As I before remarked, the scenery round the lake is exceedingly pretty, and if it was better known would be sure to attract a large number of visitors, who rejoice in the sight of the picturesque. And as the waters of the lake are well stocked with fish, the disciples of the “gentle art” would also congregate more numerously than they do now. Close to the margin of the lake stands a little hotel where all the necessary bait, fishing tackle, et cetera can be procured by those who seek to ensnare the denizens of Puslinch Lake. Boats can also be obtained here.
Near the centre of the lake is a very pretty island of some considerable extent, on which stands the foundation of a structure intended for a convent, which has not as yet been completed. The best spot for fishing is off this island.
The way to reach Puslinch Lake is to proceed via Hespeler, an exceedingly good specimen of a Canadian village, which is, I am happy to know, in a thriving and prosperous condition. The large manufactory of J. Hespeler, Esq., affords constant employment for a number of hands. I may also be allowed to mention that Hespeler is noted for the manufacture of exceedingly good whiskey.
The road from Hespeler to the lake is filled with pretty glimpses of Canadian rural scenery. Rich farms in the highest state of cultivation, with substantial barns and farm buildings, may be seen on every side, and thick forests, green meadows, and fields of waving corn, are interspersed together, while here and there the waters of a tiny stream, which flows for the most part among the woods and thickets, hiding like a bashful beauty, too timid to be seen, finds its way noiselessly along to the bosom of the pretty lake. And in the dark pools, and beneath the known of that romantic stream, trout, all shining with silver scales and ruddy stars, hide themselves away, and may occasionally be lured out of their native element by the temptation of a good fat worm, for there is no room for the most expert Waltonian to throw a fly, so thick the tangled copse-wood grows, and so thickly do the branches of the trees cluster to protect the brook upon its travels.
If anyone wishes to enjoy a pleasant holiday far from the city’s din and bustle, and among the beauties of Nature in her loveliest form, he cannot do better than take the Great Western Railway train to Hespeler, and, on the margin of the lake or beneath the cool shade of the forest trees beside the little stream, which night and day through all the sweet summer time sings the same melodious measure, enjoy the “dolce far niente” to his heart’s content.
August 13th 1867.
From the Hespeler Herald newspaper