In 1653 a map was created from the information given by Champlain that marks the Haliburton area as an excellent area for hunting stag. In 1836, David Thompson, one of the greatest British surveyors, travelled the areas of Sherborne and McClintock where his party caught many speckled trout and admired the stands of hardwood.
Kushog Lake was called Kah-shan-can-wig-e-mog on the survey of 1864. This is Ojibwa meaning “that which doesn’t run straight, with a lot of narrows where you can see through or beyond.” Probably Kushog is a corruption or slang version of the longer name.
The north basin (north of Ox Narrows) was considered a separate lake known as Kashagawi Lake, until the 1940s.
The Mississauga cleared land for agriculture at Boshkung Narrows before 1851 – an Indian camp at Matabanick Inn on Boshkung Lake has produced many relics. There are native graves on the Howard Walker farm (which was originally pioneered by Joseph Pritchard) near Boshkung.
Lumbering powered its way through Haliburton mainly from 1860 to the early 1900s and supported many mills and workers until the last log run on the Gull River in 1921.
In the 1850s when the government recognized the need to settle land north of settlements like York and Montreal, ‘colonization roads’ were constructed to give settlers easier access to more northerly places such as Haliburton County.
A government grant was given in 1856 for a new north-south road that eventually ran from Bobcaygeon to the Oxtongue River north of Dorset by way of Kinmount and Minden to encourage the spread of settlement. Highway 35 was a Depression-era make-work project begun in 1931; the route was deliberately laid out to follow the lakes in order to stimulate tourism.
The first record of waterfront property ownership on Kushog Lake indicates that it was located in the very south basin – 78 acres on Lot 4 Concession 1.
The first settler at the north end of Kushog Lake was W. W. Prentice, a farmer, who built Camp Prentuskoka (now Pine Springs) in the 1920s.
Kushog Lake was an integral part of the canoe routes travelled by campers and cottagers alike. Several camps and lodges were built on the lake in the 1940s but the only one of these camps still operating (2011) is Camp Kandalore on Kabakwa (Peach) Lake.
Regattas or picnics have provided social opportunities on the lake for almost 60 years.