Described as “the only book dedicated to this unique aspect of Lake Champlain antiquity,” 440-page Deep History investigates the lake’s 392 toponyms – 124 in New York and 268 in Vermont. For those unfamiliar with the term, toponyms are the names of natural features such as bays, islands, points, and reefs.
“I love esoteric history, forgotten history,” said Schlimmer, who resides in Colorado but grew up in the Adirondacks. “It’s what I call obvious history. People don’t give much thought to place names, toponyms especially.”
Schlimmer admits that some of his favorite names are the handful of ones he couldn’t solve despite his best efforts. These include New York’s Barrel Bay, Bullwagga Bay, and Coffin Point and Vermont’s Chipman Point, Cranska Point, and Picket Island.
In the Foreword Vermont historian Daniel Cole, a descendant of one of Samuel de Champlain’s exploratory colleagues, says, “Erik has spent untold numbers of hours researching the names of his beloved peaks, valleys, lakes, and rivers. In Deep History he has taken a different trail to explore The Lake Between…. His concise discussions are equal parts historical, genealogical, geographical, geological, and lingual.”