You are looking at the lower basin of Lake James. The lake is the third largest natural lake in Indiana (1,140 acres). With the middle and upper basins of Lake James, and Snow Lake, the park has water on three sides.
The 120 lakes of Steuben County formed at the end of the most recent glaciation, the Wisconsin.
At that time, the Saginaw ice lobe ceased its southern advance, and began to melt and break apart.
Among the features formed were kettle holes. These formed when large blocks of ice broke free and were buried under tons of glacial debris. The debris insulated the ice block. The ice blocks slowly melted leaving behind a water-filled depression. Lake James is a large kettle lake.
Kettle lakes are uneven in depth and even small lakes can be quite deep. Lake James reaches a maximum depth of 88 feet.
Humans arrived shortly after the glacier receded. The lakes, wetlands and forests were abundant in wildlife and fish. The Potwatomi tribe settled on the shores of Lake James during the early 1800s. Potawatomi people still live throughout the country, many settling along the Indiana-Michigan border.
Between the Great Lakes and the Ohio there is no more beautiful tract of country than this country.
Charles R. Dyer, Surveyor
1891 Geological Report of Steuben County
The time may come when the lakes of Steuben County will be the most valuable and profitable possession of her citizens, who will then seek and devise means for preserving instead of destroying them.
Charles R. Dyer