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Continued: Eagan man aims to set record straight on swapped lake names

  • Article by: CHRIS STELLER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 24, 2014 - 2:00 PM

If approved by Dakota County commissioners and signed by the DNR commissioner, Boulay will make the change in state records and forward it to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Source of mix-up

The Eagan mix-up seems to go back to a 1980 U.S. Geological Survey map, itself based on a 1968 statewide inventory, that used only one name (“Quigley”) for both lakes.

On the 1968 map, “the name kind of floated between the two lakes,” said Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan. His great-grandfather bought the land around Carlson Lake about 100 years ago, and it largely stayed in the family until Carlson’s father developed it for housing in the 1970s.

Quigley Lake grew from a swamp into the 5-foot-deep lake it is today when the residential construction meant cutting off a link that had drained Quigley Lake into much deeper Carlson Lake. (Both lakes are about 11 acres, Weston said, but Carlson is 30-50 feet deep.)

Carlson, who still lives nearby on Carlson Lake Lane, said Carlson Lake was where he learned to swim and water ski in the 1950s.

The lake-name mix-up “doesn’t really bother me,” Carlson said, but “Steve is a person who goes after accuracy.”

In addition to his water-quality work, Weston is a state coordinator for the Christmas Bird Count and the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas Project, as well as serving as Dakota County coordinator for the annual count of sandhill cranes. His interest in the environment is a “lifelong hobby,” he said.

Weston is on Carlson’s speed dial for wildlife questions.

“Whenever we have a bird we need to ID, he’s our first call. Then he’s standing out in our back yard looking for it,” Carlson said.


Chris Steller is a Twin Cities freelance writer.

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  • While measuring the water quality of the two lakes, Steve Weston found it confusing to mentally swap the names, thus leading him to petition for the correction.

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