Lake Ontelaunee – 1937 & now

Lake Ontelaunee is a 1,082-acre reservoir in Berks County, Pennsylvania owned by the City of Reading. The lake was created in 1926 by the damming of Maiden Creek to extend and improve the water supply to the city. A large dedication ceremony was held in 1929. In addition, the lake provides a venue for hunters, fishermen, and hikers. The lake supports a large and varied fish population including panfish, largemouth bass, common carp, bullhead catfish, channel catfish, alewife, white perch, muskellunge, and others. No boats are allowed on this lake and there is also no swimming allowed.

Blue Marsh Lake is the largest lake in Berks County, making Lake Ontelaunee the second-largest lake.

Below are aerial shots of Lake Shore Drive as it appeared in 1937 and 80 years later today in 2017.

Lake Ontelaunee 1937
Lake Ontelaunee 2017

According to the below Reading Eagle article from 2002, Ontelaunee is an American Indian name, meaning “Maiden Creek”.

Ontelaunee Lake History
click to enlarge

Born and raised in Berks, I am fascinated by the design, architecture, culture & style of the 20th century. I started this website to research and build a collection of the places, things and stories I have heard about my entire life. Read more here.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Berks Nostalgia