Peter Pond newsletter :: July 2009 :: #36

Peter Pond

Peter Pond


Now that the date has been solidified, it's time to share the joyful news that Peter Pond is slated to be one of five to be inducted into the Milford Hall of Fame at 5 p.m. on Sept. 22. Hope to have some Peter Pond Society representation there besides me. Descendants will be especially welcome and receive nametags denoting their relationship to the inductee. It's too bad the date is a Tuesday in the middle of the week and not on a weekend, but some of you not living too far away might want to make it. There will be a reception after the ceremony and then perhaps we could all go to dinner at a local restaurant

The deadline for relatives to RSVP with name and address is August 1 so that you could be part of a list to receive a formal invitation. The rest of you should respond by Sept. 1 to give me time to reserve a room or some kind of space in the restaurant. What better time could we all have a chance to meet?

A corridor in the city's Parsons Municipal Complex has been set aside for HOF inductee head and shoulder drawings and an inscription for each. Peter Pond is in the second class of five inductees, the first having been inducted last fall. There will be a nice pen and ink rendering of Peter Pond in a full hat and beard, which is as good as any since no one knows what he really looked like.
His inscription is to read as follows:

c. 1740-1807

"Peter Pond, a veteran of the French & Indian War, was a fur trader, explorer, and cartographer born in Milford. He helped organize expeditions west of the Great Lakes. He became internationally renowned for maps he drew of the Northwest and Canada based on his explorations and input from others, including Native Americans. His exploits ultimately prompted President Jefferson to send Lewis and Clark on their quest to explore the Northwest Region. In 1790 Pond sold his shares of the North West Co., the trading company of which he was a founding member, and returned to Milford."

How do I know all this? I am on the HOF committee. But I was only asked to join after Peter Pond's induction had been assured. When I first heard about the HOF, I called the chairman of the committee charged with finding inductees and told her about my website. About a year later I was told he got in. Then I was asked by the overall HOF chairman to join the committee and rule on future inductees. Once I knew the definite induction date, I decided to tell you.
I feel good that Peter Pond's hometown is giving him this recognition since he is decidedly more famous in Canada, where a lake and a monument among other things commemorate him, than he is in the United States. Now he has some notice in the town where he was born and died. Looking forward to 9/22!


Good news comes in bunches. At the HOF meeting I sat next to Regina Cahill of the Milford Preservation Trust. She said she had been meaning to get in touch with me since MPT has set aside money to put up roadside markers around town for historical personages, one of whom is Peter Pond. She noted they only have one up so far, that at a local beach by Long Island Sound honoring several dozen American smallpox victims who had been left there to die by a British prison ship during the American Revolution. It's quite impressive, like most heavy-duty metal roadside historical markers with the same inscription on both sides of a flat sign. Peter Pond would be well served with that.

Cahill invited me to the next MPT meeting in early August to discuss Peter Pond's history and where the marker might go. One idea was on the road going by Milford Cemetery saying he's buried there but has no headstone to mark the location. You might remember me toying with the idea of having Peter Pond Society members send in donations toward placing a headstone at some convenient spot in Milford Cemetery commemorating him without location. Some of you responded that you were ready to send money. But the MPT option would take care of it. Once again, I'm glad that Peter Pond is gaining interest in his hometown, and not just Canada.
Will keep you posted on how this turns out.

Peter Pond Society editor Bill McDonald

Au revoir,