According to campus lore, if a couple walks the entire mile-long footpath around Beebe Lake holding hands, they are destined for marriage.
The lake takes its name from Jeremiah S. Beebe, an early Ithaca industrialist who milled flour and plaster, and employed a youthful Ezra Cornell. The manmade lake was formed in 1838, when the university's founder dammed Fall Creek to provide water to power a new mill downstream.
In the university's early days, faculty and students took their winter recreation on Beebe Lake. There they skated and tobogganed while local farmers offered sleigh rides. Such forms of recreation have since been banned due to safety concerns, but Reunion weekend always features canoeing on the lake, and picnickers make use of the grassy shores.