When Flagstaff Lake was created by the damming of the Dead River in 1949, two villages were submerged. Gone but not forgotten, their history lives on in the houses and cemetery relocated to high ground, through artifacts and photos in the Dead River Historical Society and the Slaid Cleaves song "Below," and especially via Flagstaff Lake Scenic Boat Tours. Master Maine Guide Jeff Hinman points out old foundations, shares stories, and brings the villages to life. It’s not unusual to see moose or eagles along the lake’s mostly undeveloped shorelines, which edge the Bigelow Mountain Preserve. The 2½-hour historic tour is an excellent intro, but for a real immersion, opt for the 4½-hour luncheon cruise to Maine Huts and Trails’ Flagstaff Hut.