The lake is geologically important because it has been at the edge of the Pleistocene glacier. In the 1870s the lake was drained to accommodate the peat industry, giving science a chance to examine its bogs and historians and prehistorians a chance to examine the artifacts and human remains. A late Pleistocene period of warm climate (an interstadial) was named for the lake based on evidence gathered here (see Bølling oscillation).
Some 50 peat factories were built in the region. Eventually the decision was made to protect the remaining peat and in 2003 the region became a conservation area. The lake was to some degree restored. Today it is used extensively for recreation.