Hymn to Coe Lake
text by Anna M. Nokes
This text—originally titled "The Big Quarry”— is taken from one of Ohio’s many Historical Markers. The particular marker stands in front of Coe Lake, a manufactured body of water that sits just south of Baldwin Wallace University’s campus in Berea, Ohio. This lake represents something remarkable to me: where, amidst our world industrialization and deforestation, our efforts as a society have created a space for nature and its inhabitants. I remember vividly the various wildlife––migrant birds and the like––that frequented the lake and its surrounding area. As well, the lake serves as a quiet retreat from hectic collegiate life for the students at the University and for the residents of Berea a place of calm nestled in this small midwest town.
The text reads:
"Gradually the water came, first a little pool, then it rose higher and higher, until at last the workmen gathered up their tools and left the water to fill to the brim this basin they had made in the earth, until that place formerly so full of busy sounds was nothing but a quiet, blue body of water, glimmering in the sunlight." Anna M. Nokes, "The Big Quarry," 1895 (Nokes was a Baldwin University student.)