In Baptiste Lake waters grow white water lilies which, according to a legend of the Algonquin people, were once travelers from the stars. However, Baptiste Lake has a water lily rosy and pink, which grows nowhere else in North Hastings.
The story goes that a radiantly beautiful maiden, glowing like a star which was her home, came to dwell with a tribe of Natives who had earned her love. Finding a suitable home for a star maiden was not easy. She tried to live on a hilltop but she could not see the women grinding corn. She tried the trees but the foliage would not let her see the children at play. She tried a flowery meadow but the children’s laughter was but an echo. She reasoned that the people she loved always camped beside the waters which carried their canoes from place to place, especially from Baptiste Lake to Whitney.
To be near them the water must be her home. While the Baptiste family slept she floated lightly to the water where their campfires were reflected and when the band awakened they found her with her feet planted firmly in the water’s bed. Hear pearly petals were spread wide to receive the blessed sun and her golden heart spread perfume abroad. Forever a living gift of love and beauty, her roots provided nourishment for her people when all other food sources failed.
Perhaps the rosy water lilies growing around Baptiste Lake islands are the star maiden’s special tribute to the native family which gave the lake its name and like the traveler from beyond the stars, would not be parted from its waters.
(Legend as told by Baptiste Ancestors to Chief, Katherine Cannon.)