Leon Bly

Leon Bly
Leon Bly sounding Eagle Lake. Courtesy of Wyn Wachhorst

It is only fitting to note that today’s marks the 100th anniversary when Leon Bly embarked on sounding Eagle Lake to determine the feasibility of an Eagle Lake irrigation project. Since the 1870s, there had been numerous failed attempts. No one knew the true depth of the lake, though many presumed it had depths ranging from 300 to 1,000 feet. Bly spent the summer sounding the lake in Oscar Rankin’s The Pelican and determined the lake’s deepest point at 105 feet, but felt the lake had potential as an adequate water supply for an irrigation project.

Of note, up until the 1980s, this boat was undergoing restoration at Janesville, but since it is not known what became of the project.

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