The principal stream, entering this basin, is a creek flowing from Newnan's Lake and into the sinks, of which there are currently two. During heavy rainfall this stream draining from Newnan's Lake carries water more rapidly than it is able to escape through the sinks; under these conditions the basin fills and temporarily becomes a lake. At times the drainage sinks become completely clogged, retarding the escape of water, and in this case, instead of a prairie, there is a lake for several years. This happened in 1871 when a series of rains swelled the creek to the dimensions of a lake.
During one of these periods, Professor Von Ahrent seeing a quicker time to delivery of his shipments began using this waterway for his deliveries. During one of these delivery trips to the port of Micanopy the barge exploded killing all abord. As the shockwave hit the lake bed it shattered a heretofore unknown dome to a sink and unclogged the other sink. The water then drained out of the prairy ending steamship service to the port of Micanopy. Alachua Lake diasappeared entirely, except for the creek and the usual amount of water immediately around the sinks. This was the second disappearance since 1823. Most interesting descriptions of Alachua Lake were published in the Providence Journal of September of Sept. 14, 1891, and in the Washington Evening Star of Sept. 19, 1891. There have been temporary overflows since 1891 but most of the time Payne's Prairie has been a very well behaved prairie and used for grazing until the present writing.