Lake William

(1880s) There is a unique story behind how this lake got its name.

An anecdote about how this lake got its name: Five early pioneers of the area, William Ryan, William Shannon, William Boyd, William Hewitt and William Anderson took it upon themselves to cut a road through the bush to the lake with their axes. Upon reaching the lake they decided to name it after the first name they all had in common: William.

Their efforts to clear a road to Lake William made the lake accessible to other early pioneers of the area. The lake was a popular spot to fish and pick wild berries.

One of the five, William Ryan, came to the area in 1882. He was instrumental in organising the Rural Municipality of Turtle Mountain, and served as Reeve of the RM between 1884 and 1886.

Today Lake William is a popular location for locals and visitors. The lake boasts a small beach, camping and access to surrounding hiking trails, including the popular Turtle's Back (~4.5km return) which offers an impressive view from the top. There is a no-motorboat policy on the lake, making it a quiet and peaceful retreat.

Visit William Lake Provincial Park Website for visiting information.

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Author: Teyana Neufeld


Boissevain History Committee. Beckoning Hills Revisited “Ours is a Goodly Heritage” Morton Boissevain 1881—1981. Altona: Friesen Printing, 1981.