Lake Kittamaqundi

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Lake Kittamaqundi
Lake Kittamaqundi
Location Columbia, Maryland
Coordinates 39°12′43″N 76°51′19″W / 39.21194°N 76.85528°W / 39.21194; -76.85528Coordinates: 39°12′43″N 76°51′19″W / 39.21194°N 76.85528°W / 39.21194; -76.85528
Type manmade
Primary inflows Unnamed tributary of the Little Patuxent River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 27 acres (11 ha)
Max. depth 7 ft (2.1 m)[1]
Islands Nomanisan (1966-2011)

Lake Kittamaqundi is a man made 27-acre (110,000 m2) reservoir located in Columbia, Maryland in the vicinity of the Mall in Columbia. It is also adjacent to the Rouse Company's offices and visible from US-29.[1]

The lake was created by the Rouse company in 1966 during the development of Columbia. The company and its homeowners association claimed it was named after the first Indian settlement in Howard County and "Kittamaqundi" in the tribe's language translates to "meeting place."[2][3][1] Kittamaqundi actually was a 1600's Piscataway village 40 miles south that was named after its ruler, 'Kittamaquund'. English settlers offered trinkets, protection, education and conversion to their religion in exchange for land for their settlements, then later drove them out of their homeland. [4][5][6][7] [8][9] [10][11][12][13] [14]"Kittamaqundi" translates to "Great Beaver Place" or "Strong Bear".[15]

The area surrounding the lake is a popular location for various summer festivals and 4th of July fireworks.


Kittamaqundi is one of four man-made lakes created with the construction of the Columbia development. The lake served a dual purpose as a recreational feature and a low cost primary catch basin for water runoff from Wilde Lake into the Little Patuxent river.

One Kittamaqundi drowning in 1971 was ruled a suicide, with the recovery of the body inspiring the Stephen Amidon book "New City".[16][17] Another drowning occurred in 1972 from an overturned canoe.[18]

Lake Kittamaqundi featured an island known as Nomanisan Island, named by Columbia resident Alan Levine in a 1980 contest held by the Columbia Association. The island's name came from the phrase "No Man Is an Island" by John Donne.[19][20]

In 1990 Funding was sought for a pathway around the lake.[21]

In the fall of 2010, dredging began in Lake Kittamaqundi. As sediment built up over the years since the lake's creation the depth of the lake was reduced. This dredging effort focused on restoring the lake to the original depths, reinforcing the banks, and creating two new peninsulas to enhance water flow. The dredging was completed in November 2011.[22]

The gap between the island and the east bank of the lake was filled in the dredging of 2011 creating a peninsula.[23]


The Mall in Columbia, General Growth Properties management offices, and buildings along Little Patuxent Parkway were developed with a minimum of stormwater management, and are directly in Kittamaqunidi's watershed. In 2008, a survey posted that 55,558 lbs. per year of total suspended solids (TSS) and 250 lbs. a year of phosphorus are collected in the lake. The recommendation was to have 6.3 million dollars in stormwater retention projects implemented to mitigate the development shortcomings for Lake Kittamaqundi alone.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Lakes of Columbia. A Planned Community - Columbia, Maryland. Retrieved 2010-12-28
  2. ^ How streets were named and other interesting facts. Columbia Association. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  3. ^ The Howard County Historical Society. Howard County. p. 50. 
  4. ^ Maryland: A History of Its People. p. 10. 
  5. ^ Jordan E. Kerber. Cross-cultural Collaboration: Native Peoples and Archaeology in the Northeastern United States. p. 115. 
  6. ^ Paul Joseph Travers (1990). The Patapsco: Baltimore's River of History. Maryland Historical Society Tidewater Publishers. p. 20. 
  7. ^ Sharon Malinowski. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes: Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean. p. 249. 
  8. ^ Daniel S. Murphree. Native America: A State-by-state Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. p. 487. 
  9. ^ Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Volume 16. 1926. p. 308. 
  10. ^ James Grant Wilson, John Fiske. Appleton's cyclopædia of American biography, Volume 1. p. 605. 
  11. ^ Andrew White. Relatio itineris in Marylandiam, Issue. p. 63. 
  12. ^ Barry C. Kent. Jacob My Friend: His 17th Century Account of the Susquehannock Indians. p. 472. 
  13. ^ Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (1984). A Chronicle of Belair. Bowie, Maryland: Bowie Heritage Committee. pp. 4–7. LCCN 85165028. 
  14. ^ Paula W. Wallace. Indians in Pennsylvania. p. 111. 
  15. ^ Daniel Garrison Brinton. The Lenâpé and their legends; with the complete text and symbols. p. 27. 
  16. ^ Pekkanen, Sarah (29 February 2000). "Utterly novel appearance for Columbia; Fiction: An adolescence spent in Maryland's well-known planned community inspires Stephen Amidon's fifth book, `The New City.'". Baltimore Sun. 
  17. ^ "DEATH SPURS HEALTH PROBE". The Baltimore Sun. 2 October 1971. 
  18. ^ "Youth drowns in Kittamaqundi". Baltimore Sun. 26 June 1972. p. C10. 
  19. ^ Tepe, Heather (26 May 1999). "Lake Kittamaqundi is the in place in Columbia on a day in spring". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Columbia Archives. "Columbia Lakefront Walking Tour". Columbia Association. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Predictions of lean times at gloomy budget hearing Countians present shopping lists despite the news". Baltimore Sun. 16 December 1990. 
  22. ^ "Lake Dredging - Columbia Association" (Press release). Columbia Association. undated. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  23. ^ Broadwater, Jennifer (8 April 2010). "The Dredge Report". Columbia Flier. Retrieved 27 June 2013. "Beginning in June, a forebay will be added at Lake Kittamaqundi's north end by building peninsulas to connect to the existing "Nomanisan Island" there."