You can access the lake from the campground, an easy 20 minute walk, or drive and park a short distance on North Bloomfield Road, 1/4 mile north of the old town.
The lake is also the site of our annual Kids Fishing Derby, a free event for kids under 16 years of age, held in May of each year. Call in early April to sign up your child!
Blair Lake was originally a small hydraulic mine back in the 1800’s. Gold yield from the gravel was low so owners dammed the drain end to form a reservoir. The lake has been dredged several times and the water is tested annually. Mercury and other heavy metals are within normal and safe levels. It is safe to consume fish caught from the lake and swim.
How the lake got its name…
The lake is named after Francis C. Blain, which changed in translation to “Blair.” Blain was a French Canadian born 1818 and died Aug. 12, 1900 in North Bloomfield. He married Elizabeth, born 1826, in the mid 1840s in Canada and after the birth of their first child they made their way west to California. Elizabeth died Jan. 17, 1892. The couple had 9 children, 2 boys and 7 girls.
They arrived in Humbug City (North Bloomfield) in about 1854 and filed a pre-emption on 100 acres, 50 acres on each side of North Bloomfield Road, for mining and agriculture purposes. They built their house on the right side of the road and mined that part. On the left side they farmed the land. Francis Blain hydraulic mined for several years and later entered into an agreement with John Watt, whereby John would operate the mine and Francis would farm.
In 1873, a legal battle started between Blain and Watt and the North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Co. over the ownership of the land. NBGMC claimed that they owned the land as well as other land. Francis lost the battle and the NBGMC was awarded all of the land on the east side of the road.
Francis arrived home from the hearing and packed up his family and moved across the street. Francis and his two boys built a new home on the other side of the road.
On March 25, 1873, just two days after the decision, the NBGMC had A.B. Lind move into the old Blain house to “protect their interest” in the newly acquired land. That evening, Blain and Lind were both at a town saloon and had a verbal confrontation. When Lind later left the saloon, Blain followed. There were four shots heard and a scream. Lind was found a short distance from the old Blain house with four shots to vital areas and a hatchet wound to his head. He died about a half hour later. Blain was arrested for murder and posted $6,000.00 bail. On April 25, 1874 he was acquitted because no murder weapon was found. Blain continued to farm and raise his family. He was later declared incompetent in 1900 and died shortly thereafter.