|A Day in Indiana History - September|
To comply with the 1826 Treaty with the Potawatomi, the United State government constructed a gristmill for the Potawatami Indian tribe on Mill Creek in current Rochester, Indiana, Fulton County. Workers constructed a dam across the lake to provide power for the mill. This lake flooded five smaller lakes, forming Lake Manitou. The name derives from the Potawatami word "Manitau" which means either a good or an evil spirit. The Potatwatami believed that the lake held a monster fish that had supernatural powers. Early settlers in the area called the lake "Devil's Lake." The treaty's terms also called for the establishment of a blacksmith for the tribe. The first white settlement in the area formed when a home for the miller, blacksmith and a trading post were built. The mill opened on September 1, 1827. After the Potawatami were forced from the area in 1838, the mill was largely abandoned.