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Lecture on Lake Hopatcong
November 12, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
This presentation about the history of Lake Hopatcong will be delivered by Marty Kane. According to The Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, “from the time the Lenape first discovered the waters of Lake Hopatcong some 12,000 years ago, the lake was a special place. A deep spring-fed lake formed by glaciers, it was the perfect setting for a Native American community. Its forested shores supported ample game while the water furnished abundant fish.
“The body of water the Lenape knew was twelve feet below the level of the Lake we know today. In ensuing years, dams and dredging have increased the Lake to its current size. Even at its original size, Lake Hopatcong would be the largest lake in the State of New Jersey.
“As railroads emerged as the modern transportation alternative, it became clear that a railroad to support the Morris Canal contained an unnecessary step – the canal. In 1882, the Central Railroad of New Jersey completed a connection from its main tracks to the Ogden Mine Railroad terminus at Nolan’s Point. It did not take long for the Central Railroad of New Jersey management to realize that there was great passenger potential for this newly formed line. Here was a direct rail link to a large lake just over one hour from numerous large cities, as well as New York City itself. In September 1882, the first passenger excursion train arrived at Nolan’s Point and the tourist boom at Lake Hopatcong was on! The Lackawanna Railroad, whose tracks passed by the southern end of Lake Hopatcong, quickly added a station to share in the business and two major rail lines were now serving the new resort.”
Kane will talk about these early years and the period when the lake was a destination point for many city residents who came here for the clean mountain air and the great hotels that lined the shores of this body of water.
When it comes to the subject of Lake Hopatcong historical knowledge, Marty Kane rises above all others. As President of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, Kane is a virtual lake area encyclopedia. Marty has been actively promoting interest in the history of Lake Hopatcong for well over 25 years. He noted that he first became active with the local historical organization through “a combination of my love for the lake and my love of history. I most enjoy expanding people’s knowledge of Lake Hopatcong’s past whether it is through the programs we do or the ongoing exhibits at the museum.” Currently, Marty is deeply involved in the restoration of the former Hopatcong railroad station that is to be used to accommodate the modernization and expansion of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum.