In 1826, construction of the Farmington Canal (of the New Haven to Northampton Canal) blocked the course of the Munnisunk Brook, then a tributary to the Farmington River.
The brook's flow was conducted 20 feet below the canal through a culvert, which was about 90 feet long. Sometime after the canal was abandoned in 1848, the culvert ceased functioning and the flow of the Munnisunk Brook backed up behind the canal fill to form the first version of Lake Basile. The Canal Greenway follows the canal route (and the railroad which replaced it in 1850) along the southwest corner of Lake Basile.
Before modern refrigeration Lake Basile served as a local ice pond, where townspeople could harvest large blocks of ice during the winter. Cut ice was stored for year-round use in large ice houses. During the summer, ice men delivered blocks of ice to residents once or twice a week for refrigeration of food in ice boxes. In fact, this is how Ice Pond Road in Granby gained its name ! ,br>. In the 1930s, the Lake was dredged to deepen it and create a permanent centerpiece for what was to become a small community of cottages, many of them summer cabins. Some of these still exist today !