Called Ferrin's Pond by early settlers and travelers, who often camped by the outlet, this 15-acre mountain lake has also been known as the Old Man's Mirror and the Old Man's Washbowl.
With the building of the Lafayette House in 1835, and the First Profile House in 1853, both located just north of here, came the summer visitors, as well as painter, writers and poets, many who would stay all season. This spot soon gained wide attention and fame. Profile Lake became the centerpiece, the "Crown Jewel" of the White Mountains, with boats, concerts, picnics and walks, all part of the summer scene during that Golden Age.
Samuel Eastman would write in his 1858 Guide to the White Mountains - "Here Nature has provided for her creation an appropriate mirror. That here only the finest trout live, as though only the choicest of fish were suited to inhabit such a pure abode."
In 1880 Chisholm's White Mountain Guide Book reported - "The beautiful crystalline tarn at the foot of the mountain is Profile Lake where a little navy of dainty boats is kept, to wage war on the trout, or give Paul and Virginia a chance to insulate themselves in the embowered coves toward the outlet".
With the passing of the Hotel Era, the little navy of boats, the concerts, and the other hotel activities became history.
People from every walk of life still come here by the countless thousands, however, to enjoy the splendor of Franconia Notch.
Julius H. Ward, in 1890, was speaking for the past, present and future generations when he wrote - "This place is where you forget the outside world and give yourself up to Nature."