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There’s a road, schools, and a village. But where’s the Lake Hazel… lake?

Have you ever driven down a road and thought: “Why is it named that?” That question may come to mind when driving down the road which runs from Maple Grove Road in Boise to South Robinson Road in Nampa: Lake Hazel Road.

While there’s an elementary school and a middle school and several businesses coined ‘Lake Hazel’, where is the actual lake?

[Inside Idaho: Why is Bogus Basin… bogus?]

The answer: There isn’t one. But – there was once… more than a century ago.

In the early 1900s, according to Madeline Kelley Buckendorf’s research in the National Register of Historic Places, there was a push to create an irrigation system in the Boise valley. One of the solutions of the larger Boise Project was to use water from the Boise River and filter it into reservoirs.

Lake Hazel Road
Lake Hazel Road. Photo: Gretchen Parsons/BoiseDev

An agreement called for the landowner, David R. Hubbard, to allow for excavation on several of these lakes, including Painter Lake, Hubbard Lake, and four others. The plan was to connect these lakes together to make for one large reservoir.

Meanwhile, the larger Boise Project, which promised to bring an irrigation system to the valley was coming along. In time, a decision was made to not use the lakes. And eventually, they all dried up with the exception of Hubbard Lake – which is now Hubbard Reservoir located about 12 miles southwest of Boise.

What does the history of Boise’s irrigation system have to do with Lake Hazel? Painter Lake was eventually renamed Lake Hazel but the name change was short-lived. The lake dried up and no longer exists.

To learn more about the history of Boise’s irrigation system, including the Hubbard Dam and the New York Canal, click here.

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Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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