The little cypress-shaded lake in the heart of the UL campus was once nothing but a wallow. Buffalo wallowed there first. Then came the pigs.

In prehistoric times, buffalo herds wandering through the area stopped in the shade of the cypress grove, pawing and stomping at the ground. Eventually, the pawing and stomping caused a depression to form. It filled with water and became what was called in Cajun French a trou de taureau, a "bull hole"

A university eventually grew up around the little pond, and, until about 1918, the area around Cypress Lake was fenced in and used as a pen and feeding area for the pigs raised on the college's instructional farm.

In the early 1920s, the pig pen was drained and dried and became Cypress Grove. It was used as an open-air theater used by the college's dance classes. Commencement exercises were held beneath the cypress canopy when weather was good.

In the early 1940s, some College of Agriculture faculty members thought that water should be put back into the pond, because they were afraid that a lack of water would hurt the cypress trees there. A pump was installed, the pond was refilled, and Cypress Grove became Cypress Lake

The rest of source story

Jim Bradshaw
jbradshaw@theadvertiser.com