Some Mind-Blowing Facts About the History of New Fairfield’s Squantz Pond
Could it be that Chief Squantz was buried on the banks of Squantz Pond where Joyceland still stands to this day?
From the book, Chronology Under Candlewood: Roots at Squantz Pond, the story is told that in the early 1920s, it was known by many that the creation of a man-made lake was going to become a reality. A man named Keith Joyce, whose family had lived in the Squantz Pond area for decades, was looking into the future, wondering what this new lake was going to bring to the area. Joyce envisioned the hundreds of tourists Candlewood Lake would attract, so he began the building of a project that he called Joyceland.
According to the book, and considered an aggressively modern idea for 1927, Keith Joyce built Joyceland on the banks of Squantz Pond which was a restaurant nightclub complete with a dance hall. On September 28, 1928, Joyce's dream began to turn into reality as in, "If you build it, they will come."
One of the most fascinating stories in the book about the building of Joyceland was when Keith Joyce was digging trenches to lay water pipes, he unearthed a human skeleton:
...buried in a sitting position, facing east and in the lotus position.
Joyce was quite sure he had found the skeleton of Chief Squantz, who ruled the area from 1722 until he died in 1724. In January of 1921, an old dugout canoe was found underneath the ice on Squantz Pond. From that point on, Keith Joyce made significant finds playing amateur archaeologist which included a number of arrowheads, tomahawks, and prehistoric tools which he gave to museums in both New York Connecticut. Joyceland still stands today as a private residence just north of the causeway that separates Candlewood Lake and Squantz Pond.