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Park and recreation areas were added to the grounds between the 1870s and 1890s. By 1876, there were four picturesque ponds or lakes on the grounds that were each lined with willow trees. Lake Hincks was southeast of Old Main; Spring Lake was in the northwest corner of the grounds, near the new cemetery; a fourth unnamed lake was just northeast of Old Main, near a farmhouse and barns.
In 1876, Lake Weehler contained an island lighthouse, man-high windmill and rowboars that could be rented for paddling excursions. Later, two stone bridges and a fountain were added. 

 In 1966, during the construction of the current VA hospital, Lake Wheeler was relocated approximately 100 feet north (a less labor-intensive task than you may think considering the lake was only four feet deep!). Today, the relocated Lake Wheeler is the last remaining lake or pond on the grounds.

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