A study of pollen grains found in nearby Rogers Lake (Lyme-Old Lyme) sediments found pollen dating back to 14 thousand years ago, which is when this lake was first formed, and perhaps also Pattagansett Lake.  Pollen from this time to about 12 thousand years ago showed that the surrounding land was a tundra, dominated by grasses and small trees like birches.  From 12 to 9 thousand years ago rates of pollen deposition into the lake increased as a forest of white pine, hemlock, poplar, oak, and maple became established.  About 8 thousand years ago deciduous trees became dominant over evergreens as did ragweed, indicating a more prairie-like environment at that time.  Beech, hickory, and chestnut trees arrived around 6.5, 5.5, and 2 thousand years ago, respectively.  Pollen deposition over the past few hundred years largely reflected landscape disturbances by European settlers clearing forests and instituting large-scale agriculture and ornamental plantings around homes. Information source:  Davis, M.D.  1969.  Climatic changes in southern Connecticut were recorded by pollen deposition at Rogers Lake.  Ecology 50:409-422.

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