Prior to acquisition of the original charter for the College of William and Mary in 1693, Lake Matoaka was an open watercourse of streams and wetlands known as Archer's Hope Swamp. Some time between 1700 and 1750 this original section of college property was sold to a private landowner who soon dammed the main creek (now known as College Creek) to create a mill pond. The mill was located just south of the current dam on Jamestown Road. Presumably, grain shipped to College Landing could be transported upstream to the mill, with milled flour transported downstream.
Over the next two centuries, the mill went through multiple private ownership before being destroyed. It wasn't until the 1920s that the College re-acquired the mill pond and surrounding College Woods. At that time, the pond was re-named Matoaka--after Chief Powhatan's daughter whose nickname was Pocahontas.
|A note about the information in this wiki|
|Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fire, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the SCRC's collections and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the SCRC's access tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.|