Indian Lake, once known as North Pond, is located in the northwest portion of the city. North Pond was the peak source of water for the Blackstone River. In 1828, a dam was built at the outlet of the pond to increase the amount of water for use by the Blackstone Canal. This new reservoir was part of a system of lakes and ponds used to control the flow of water in the Blackstone Canal. However, the canal was a short lived project that vanished due to the rising use of the rail system and complaints from mill owners within the Blackstone River watershed.
Indian Lake was also home to a local ice harvesting operation. During the days before automated ice-making machines, the harvesting of ice on local lakes and ponds was a big business employing hundreds of local residents. During a few short weeks in the winter, men would begin the harvest in mid-January or when the ice was about eighteen inches thick. Ice harvesting began in Worcester in 1848, with Dr. Benjamin F. Heywood harvesting ponds and providing ice to the local establishments. A few years later, Benjamin Walker bought the ice harvesting business and in 1855, established the Walker Ice Company with Samuel S. Sweetser. A storage facility was established on the western shore of Indian Lake, where Morgan Park is now located. This facility would harvest approximately 15,000 to 18,000 tons of ice per year. The Walker Coal and Ice Company continued to harvest ice from Indian Lake, until its storage facility burned down in 1935. From the early days as the power source used for mills during the industrial revolution, to today's recreational uses, this body of water, now nearly two hundred acres (193 acres) in total, has played a significant role in Worcester's history. As the city has developed, the land around Indian Lake has remained primarily residential in nature.
Today, activities on Indian Lake include boating (motorized and non-motorized), swimming, fishing, ice fishing, skating and snowmobiling.
Indian Lake Beach is located on the eastern bank of Indian Lake. The small, approximately 1.6 acre park, is situated in an entirely residential neighborhood, at the end of three dead end streets.
View some of the other parks in this district. Get out and explore!
Wetherell Estate Park (Duffy Field) contains a newly installed playground and renovated little league field. In 1944, this parcel of 12.88 acres was transferred from jurisdiction of the Bureau of Streets. In 1967, 5.6 acres were used for the WNEB Broadcast Tower.
The Tacoma Street Playground is an almost 19-acre park located just north of the Great Brook Valley Housing Complex. It is just west of the Poor Farm Brook, close to the West Boylston line. The Tacoma Street Playground features a playground, two basketball courts and a picnic area.
Burncoat Street Playground is the northern most public park in Worcester. Located between Burncoat Street and West Boylston Street, this park has a basketball court, tennis and volleyball court, as well as a playground. Burncoat Street Playground is close to Kendrick Field.