Lake Awosting, four times larger than Lake Minnewaska and the largest lake on the Shawangunk Ridge, is one of five rain-fed “skylakes” running from north to south: Mohonk Lake, Lake Minnewaska, Lake Awosting, Mud Pond, and Lake Maratanza.
Some nineteenth century maps called the impressive water body Long Pond or Big Pond, names that hardly did justice to its extensive nature. Before the Lake and its surrounding acreage were purchased by Alfred H. Smiley in 1879, a real estate flyer called it Lake Aioskawasting. The original name ‘Aiaskawassing’ was first used in 1664 in an Esopus Indian land deed to Governor Thomas Dongan. According to hotel brochures, this difficult to spell and pronounce name was transformed to Lake Awosting, a more romantic, even evocative, name and one certainly easier to write. In the Then colorized postcard, what appears to be a grassy pathway was in fact a shaled carriage way. The absence of a both a rustic summerhouse and overgrown vegetation in the Now image is striking.
Now: Glenn Koehler