Story of the Reappearance of a Lost Edgewood College Spring

New Millennium Spring (by Lorman) aka Big Fish Spring (by Noland)

In late December, in or about the year 2000, Jim Lorman–at the time a biology professor at Edgewood College–was riding his bike to work along the Lake Wingra shoreline. The lake was frozen, nothing unusual, he recounts, because the lake (in those days) always froze over by the end of December. There was never any open water that time of year–never in the 20 years he had been working at Edgewood College–except for this particular day when he noticed a large body of open water just off the Edgewood boardwalk.

Upon investigation Jim realized that he was probably seeing the rebirth of one of the long-lost springs along the Lake Wingra shoreline that Noland (1951) had mentioned in his classic study of Lake Wingra. Jim referred to it as New Millennium Spring in reference the impending turning of the new century.

Nolan (1951) reported that the Big Fish Spring was a large one but stopped flowing in about 1935.

It is worth noting that the Native American name for this spring— as well as the names for many other springs—are apparently unknown.

Lorman’s tale was captured by Unseen Madison, the local oral environmental and cultural history project. Click here to listen to Jim describe his discovery.


Noland, Wayland E. 1951 “The Hydrography, Fish, and Turtle Population of Lake Wingra. Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, Madison, WI

About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist, Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner, conservation photographer, and writer living in the Midwestern United States. Check out my photos at
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