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Your Letters (well, e-mails) to

We welcome your e-mails sharing your remembrances about Landing and Bertrand Island. Over recent years friends have been reunited and memories reawakened by the letters of others. If you're planning to write, first let these letters move you back in time a few years, then write twice as much as you planned, we've got endless space! If you've got some good photos that illustrate your story, we'll give you your own page, like two of our readers have already done. Contact email is below. If you want your email address to appear with your letter, enter it as text at the end of your letter, otherwise we'll keep it private.

Email and social media messaging have caused fewer and fewer people to write letters these days. People still visit the post office to mail packages in custom boxes but not as many mail letters. At least the post office will stay in business with all the packages shipping in custom boxes and mailers.

Letters from 2014 & 2015 are below

Editor, We are doing a special section on the 275th anniversary of Roxbury. I got a bunch from Marge Cushing, of the historical society, but could use some more. Is that ok? thanks. Mike Condon, Editor, Roxbury Register. - November 12, 2015

Hello again Mike, Yes, you have my blanket permission to use any images from, and in the newspaper, as long as there is an attribution.


Hello Bill Newman, The Trolley photo is circa 1909, it shows the bridge that carried the waters and boats of the Morris Canal over the Trolley tracks. As unbelievable as it sounds, it was true. The "tunnel", as you referred to it, was simply the underpass under the Canal bridge, perhaps 30 feet wide.
The bridge was torn down circa 1924, and was located in the approx area that today's Landing Road crosses over Route 46, on the border of Ledgewood and Landing. 
One can well assume the men you asked about are Morris County Traction Company employees, the Trolley operator.
Mottel B, Editor,

Hello, my name is Brian Dillon. I grew up living on Washington Street in Port Morris. until 1962 when I joined the United States Air Force.
My Mother, Ella Wink Dillon was a 4th school teacher at the grade school in Succasunna in the 40s and 50s; later earning a Master's Degree in Education, and became Principal of 2 elementary schools in Succasunna and one in Berkshire Valley. She died November 22, 1964 of a heart attack at the age of 47. (one year to the day that JFK was killed) Read all the history's, by Sal Valentino and others. I remember Myron Christie as a softball player....I saw him play. My Father, Jack Dillon, actually contacted the New York Yankees, and a scout came out to watch Myron....only problem was, the Yankees are hard ball; not softball. So nothing materialized for Myron. Myron (Mr. Christie) was one of my childhood heroes; not because of softball, but he was a musician....great trumpet player and singer. He and his band performed at a gin mill, on the road out of Netcong toward Budd Lake. He sang the song "Mamselle" better than Sinatra. Picking up the mail at the Post Office was always fun; Dot and Rosie were a hoot. Always smiling and fun. Joe Perfetti, who recently passed away, was a giant man to me. One time I went up to buy my Dad a pack of Luckies. Joe looks me in the eye, bends over the counter and says "Brian, this had better be for Your Father, or I'll kick you ass". I can still see the ever present cigar.....The 1940 Hercules Powder Company explosion (3 years before I was born) was bad for my family. My Father worked there. Four guys (can't remember their names) car pooled from Port Morris to work that day....only my Father came home. Medics found him wondering around in the woods, pretty burned. He had ringing of the ears all his life. He lived to 85, passing away in North Carolina. Loppy a kid I used to take a bucket to the dinner at the tracks; they would fill it with water, and I'd bring it back to Loppy. As a small child, like most children in the early 50s, I had my holster and cap guns. Loppy used to call me "Drag A Long".....holster was always falling....I had no butt.....still don't. Joey Granato lived down the street from us...he played the accordion. I also took it up.... My Grand Parents, John and Suzanna Wink arrived from Europe in the early 1900's. Mom wink stayed home, cooked, and kept the 4 kids, Ella, Elsie, Ida, and Johnny. Daddy Wink worked at the round house...boiler maker I think. I can still see him walking into his house after a day at work at the railroad. Ice fishing was a lot of fun....10 tip ups....we made our own. My Brother Wayne and I were usually the first one's on the lake New Years Morning....(that season used to be Jan 1 - Jan 31st) My Uncle Johnny Wink served in the US Navy during WW II. He never talked about it, but was in the bloody battle of Guadalcanal. Robert Carmean and I were best of friends from the time we were 5 years old. My first memory of Port Morris was in 1948 or 49 when my parents were building their house. I remember the big hole in the ground and the house being built. Another memory was my Grand Mother walking me to my first day of kindergarten at Port Morris Elementary. Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Crater; 1st Grade, Mrs. Bamburger; 2nd Grade, Mrs. Daniels, 3rd Grade: Mrs. Buddle; 4th Grade Mrs. McConnell; 5th Grade, Mrs. Pell; and 6th Grade, the principal at the time, George Bell. He would wack you upside the head of you were screwing off or causing trouble. Good man!!! (yes I got wacked at least once) A music Teacher, Mrs. Anderson, who lived in Chatam, came once a week to Port Morris Elementary School. I can still see her and hear her, teaching us a song called "Just Before the Battle Mother"
Was nice reminiscing the good ole days....these days (2014 forward) will not be looked at as good ole days....except for the politicians getting rich killing the middle class in their wake. - July 3, 2014

I live on Washington St, Port Morris. Two of my neighbors have lived here since they were children. Ed Constantine is 90 and
Millie Togno is in her 80's. I am sure they have many memories of this town that they could share. If there some
way you could interview them? I would talk to them first about the interview if you are interested. Pat Beach, May 26, 2014
Hello Pat Beach, thanks for writing.  I appreciate your efforts . . . I'm interested in their stories and also want info on the Stores & Businesses along Center Street.  I can come in mid-June to talk with them, I believe I met Millie Togno's son at a Lecture/Slide Show about Port Morris I did at the Roxbury Historical So. tel 973ciety. I live in Landing, and will have time in mid-June. Photos are important - I can come with a scanner to copy them without the originals ever leaving the owners house.  Mottel B., Editor, tel 973----
Hi Mottel,  Thanks for coming to interview Lester Guerra and Millie Tongo. I think they both enjoyed sharing information with you. I will try to get Ed Constantine to talk to you some time. He has lots of stories. Let us know if Don and I can help with gathering information for you on Port Morris. I think you have done a wonderful job writing about the history of our small town.
Pat & Don Beach,  June 23, 2014

Hello again Pat & Don, as you can see in the Port Morris section, the scans I did at your home last week are now on the website, with your names mentioned. Thanks so much for helping!! Mottel B.


Letters from 2013 are below

Dear Editor,  six years later I am back on here. am really amazed at hw expensive and overdeveloped Davis Cove become.
our little cottage is worth alot of money. Woods were removed to make new roads and exclusive Homes. Our Cottage was on Central Ave.  The dock was public. Our boat was kept there. Route 80 had not been built yet. I Recall the bread man ,milkman and ice cream truck. All the neighbors new each other. Their last names still remain within. Our neighbors lived in Texas and came every summer to their cottage. It was a long trip. We walked to the miniature golf course.
I am planning anther trip back with camera in hand. This was the place of my childhood and many family memories. I live on a 3 acre,farm in PA,so I do not thnk I could ever live in such close proximity to people! I have found a, few black and white pictures. It,was a blessing that I was able,to enter that home again after 35 years and relive it all again. When I went last time, I, was back in the 50s. It was overwhelming . And vivid. my tears fell freely.  I,wish,there,could be a,Central Ave reunion for my, age, group.  Life was so simple Then and my children would, never, understand. We did not need a tv or a phone. I would like anyone, who had,a place on Central,Ave/ Davis Cove,in the 50s to contact me. My family name was Kossoff. The Shillers Lived,next,door. Teri was,a,teen( my aunt) Joe,and,Shirley ,my grandparents. our place was number 6.I am hoping
to.visit,there,soon.....Laurie,David.......Laurie Southern - September 9, 2013

Hello,  I just happened upon your website after a friend told me a about a postcard he has been looking for. I figured you can find anything on the internet so I typed in “vintage post cards..Lake Hoptacong” but I didn’t have any luck. It turns out in 1953-54 my friend Frank Dellosso and his friend Eddie Walsh were photographed diving into Lake Hoptacong off the River Stix bridge. Evidently a postcard was made of the two of them and my friend would love to try to find a copy of it. . Do you have any idea of how I could find something like that? I know it is like looking for a needle in a haystack but I thought I would ask anyhow. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My name is Maria Denmead - email:  - Thank you for taking the time to read this. August 31, 2013

Hi. I am hoping you can answer a question. I stayed at a summer bungalow near Lake Hopatcong, NJ. I believe the name was Holiday Hills. I was there from 1950-1960. There was a small day camp and a small lake (not sure if it was man made. I do remember that it was down a long hill from a candy store call "Mary Jane's" and I think the owner was a Mr. Amrong. I would love any and all information. I have been trying to research this and can't find any references. Thank you in advance for your effort.
Rosalinda Lazarus  -  May 29, 2013
(If anyone has info on the Bungalow mentioned, email us, and we'll send you Rosalinda's email. Editor)

Hooray! , a reader just sent this reply: "I am replying to the letter from Rosalinda. This may not be the same place. There was a bungalow community built on Martin's View Road, off of Espanong Road near Great Cove. I remember it had a billboard sign "Holiday Hills". These bungalows were built as summer homes, about a mile from the lake. Maybe the candy store could be "The Betty Jane" on Espanong Road? Back in the 1950s The Betty Jane was a hamburger stand/tavern where you could also buy candy. Gary Martin"

I am taking over some of my grandmother's info that she has gathered over the years on my family's genealogy.
I am trying to find out if you happen to know if you have any info. on a Martin Grogan? He died in the Atlas Power Plant Explosion in 1918. I also have an ancestor by the name of Bert Winkler who died in the Hercules Explosives Plant Explosion in 1918 that I am trying to get as much info as I can.

Thank You for any help,
Janice Grogan-Writt  -  May 14, 2013

(If anyone has info on the 2 men mentioned, email us, and we'll send you Janice' email. One question regards possible confusion: the Atlas Plant was in Landing whereas the Hercules Plant was in Kenvil. Editor)

Dear Editor,
My fathers picture is in two places of the Sal Valentino collection.
I'd like to make a correction to the text if possible. Our last name is spelled incorrectly. My father is Steve Guerriero who is pictured in the golden gloves picture and in the pin boys picture. I believe they spelled our last name as Guerraro, it is spelled "Guerriero". My uncle Frank Guerriero is also in that picture top right. I also think that in the pin boys picture on the bottom right, isn't Vito Amato but in fact Vito Mauriello my great uncle.

My father is the son of Frank and Isabella Guerriero of Port Morris, Vito Mauriello (also listed under WWII link) is the brother of Isabella Guerriero all of which were long time Port Morris residents. My father was born and raised in Port Morris and these pictures are terrific. Great to see the old pictures, the ones of my father I had never seen before until on this website. Great Job!!
Sincerely, Dawn Guerriero-DeMarinis, MA - April 24, 2013


Letters from 2012 are below

Greetings Editor - August 18, 2012

I just came across this website as I was doing a search on some more info about my neighborhood. I'm not a Landing
resident, but I have lived in Hopatcong my entire life, and of course Landing is right next door, and has great history too. I especially love that photo of the market place at 1 Landing Rd in 1958. I had no idea that ever existed. My dad had a business in the late 70's and through the 80's in the office building that now stands there.
I never knew that anything else existed there before that ugly office building. Anyway, I saw a letter in your "letter" section that was written by a lady who used to live in my neighborhood. She signed off welcoming anyone to contact her to talk about the good-old-days in her area of Davis Cove and Elba Ave. Her letter was in the brown box section of 2007 letters, and she signed it as Miamio. It might be long long shot because it's now been 5 years, but do you still have a contact for her. I don't mind giving you my contact info to pass along to her. With folks changing emails often who knows if her email is even valid, but worth a shot. I'd love to know some more about our area. Thanks - I appreciate this website, and your help.
Andia Wecht

(The contact email for the writer referenced above was sent to Andia promptly. Editor)

My sister sent the website of the amusement park ,and it brought back a lot of memories.
We were raised near Somerville, NJ, and spent a few vacations at the lake in the middle to late 1940s and 1950 to 1955.
We had a cottage w/ no running water so we had to tote water. But the most fun we had was on nickel night - Mom and Dad would give us each 50 cents and turn us loose-the
best thing was getting the gold ring on the merry go round. Those were the days when little kids go off on their own without being in danger. I went on a high school trip about 1954 and rode the roller coaster.
Someone my folks knew there said that Lou Costello had a home there but I do no know if that was true.

Thanks for your web site, and for the memories. Elsie Signor. July 19, 2012

I grew up in New Jersey and our Aunt, Rev. Ruth M. Ellis, was the minister at the Methodist Church in Port Morris, for a brief time in the late '50's early '60's. Do you have any record of her there, or of the church parsonage in town? I remember staying there with her for a visit, being a "junior" usher at the church and she took me to the RR roundhouse, where the engineer let me "steer" the engine.... Pretty exciting for a 8 year railroad fan..!
Excellent photos on your web page. As soon as I saw the photo of the roundhouse, I remembered it, (from almost 60 years ago...!)

Thank you and Best Wishes;
Andrew Dunbar, New Hampshire, April 27, 2012

I wasn't aware people were writing in their memories. I've lived in the area all my life and thought I'd give it a shot.
I remember working with my father on the foundations in shore hills with Matty Vesel, Fred White, Red Waldron, and Whitey Bird. Going to Manny Selengut's house and seeing his stamp collection, and him giving me a starter set to begin the hobbie. Listening to Mannys brother Dave talking about jobs. Going to Bertrand Island many times, the lights, smells and the butterflies in my stomach while riding all the rides. Seeing Walking Charlie around and giving him coffee when I worked at Tirella's Diner,which is now a dance studio across from Landing Hardware. Going out on Lake Hopatcong in Ray Rakis's Cris Craft boat from Shore Hills Dock. Going to Gutweins , seeing Bob and Kitty English who were friends with my father. Plowing snow in Shore Hills, stopping at Walker's to buy kerosene and oil to mix to make diesel fuel for the backhoe's, no diesel in those days you made your own. A canvas cover and no heaters, was so cold my dad would leave me at what was D'Aurias diner,same location as Tirella but years earlier.
Living on Vail Road in a steel house, walls, roof, everything steel. Sleeping in my boat at Landing dock with Bruce Canfield, Nick Mariolias, Bill LaRusso, so we could ski on the glass lake very early. Riding the bus with Landing boys- Hank and Robert (Nikita) Ulrich, Craig, Jack, and Vince Canfield.
Walking the tracks, playing with friends at the train station. Climbing the ladder on the round house with friends, where Lee Santella fell thru up to armpits and Billy LaRusso saved her from a sure death, had to be at least fifty feet on concrete.
Going to John Apostoliks with my parents to his dinners and meeting his wife Kathryn who moved to Arizona after John died. Going to Tom's diner for the 99c eggs, and we would always spend the summers at Tony's Atomic Hot Dog Stand in Succasunna. Remember Johnny Fawnsworth flipping burgers, Carol Jean Santella, Mary Ann Santella, Mary Weisknewski.
Working at Acme, then Shop Rite and buying clothes at clothing town. Breaks and lunch were usually spent at The Three Brothers in the shopping center. I think that's good for now about up to 16. More if u can stand the rambling.

Bob Waldron, March 9, 2012


Letters from 2011 are below

Just came across your wonderful site. Morris Winder built 1 Landing Road, and I remember a cornerstone saying "Winer's Landing."

"1 Landing Road, circa 1958, with the Emmet Supermarket and Landing Pharmacy. Landing Bridge is at far left. This building was built circa 1950, and the Lunch and Soda counter in the Pharmacy was the largest at the Lake. By the mid 70's the two large stores were gone, the building subdivided and occupied by offices and small stores"

Memories, memories. In 1950 (I was 13 years old) we Bronxites rented a summer apartment on the shore of Lake Hopatcong from the developer of the Emmet Supermarket and Landing Pharmacy, Morris Winer. My father liked the experience so much he bought a shore front house on Lakeside Blvd. from Winer (Winer Sportswear of Paterson), who owned several houses along the shoreline. (Winer's children, Bob and Buzz (Irwin), were already in their twenties at the time, but occupied houses on the lake.)

I spent all my teenage summers here, and after my father's passing, continued to come out to the Lake with my mother, my wife and our children. Despite my father's fear of the water, he eventually bought me a light shell and a 5 hp Mercury outboard. It could really move and we would tie it up at Bertrand Island Amusement Park on many ocassions. It was not capable of pulling water skiers, but luckily a young neighbor, who was married to an old fuddy-duddy, would take us teenagers out in her Chris Craft. Of course in retrospect regarding her kindness, it was the only way she could find anyone to drive the boat while she was skiing.

I caddied for a neighbor at the Lake Hopatcong Golf Club each Saturday and Sunday and he would pay me by treating me to a sundae at the fountain in the Pharmacy. I didn't realize how cheap he was, as regular caddies got paid a decent amount of money for the era.

Halcyon days!

Jack May,  Montclair, New Jersey - October 14, 2011


I just read the history of Port Morris with great interest because I am researching my roots and I know that my family has connections to that area. I'm hoping someone can help me.

My great-great grandfather was Giuseppe Ciarla. From the little bit of family history available to me, I know the following.

Joe was an Italian immigrant who worked on the railroads. I know he couldn't read or write and this may account for the fact that his last name was always spelled incorrectly, making my search for him very difficult. I have found records that show him as Giarla, Gialla, Jarla, Jarka and Jarley. He went by the nickname Joe "Jolly". I am told that that he purchased land along the old Morris Canal in Port Morris and built a number of small houses. He would then travel back and forth to Italy, bringing men with him to Port Morris to work the railroad lines. My understanding is that he would pay passage for them and provide them a place to live in one of those small houses he built. After repaying their passage, they would eventually rent or buy their own place and then bring their own families over.

Family legend has it that he was a sheriff in Port Morris but I can't confirm that. His best friends were the Barones, the DeMileo's and someone named Drake who owned a lumber company. Since I am not familiar with Port Morris or Netcong, they may have lived in Netcong and not Port Morris.

My great-great grandmother left him and he may or may not have married a woman named Clementine or Clementina. He's listed in the 1930 census in Netcong as living on Stool or Scool St, and Clementine is listed as a "wife", along with a boarder by the name of Andrew Tassa. His granddaughter, Jenny, married a Joseph Masi, also of Netcong, and apparently a few doors down since they are also listed on the census report.

I understand he is buried at Stanhope Cemetery (again, I don't know the distances involved or if these places are even close to one another) - the name on the grave is listed as Jarla. Whew! No wonder I'm having such a hard time locating information on him!

I saw a picture on your website of a bunch of railroad men but most of them are not identified. Oh, how I wish one of those men was Joe Ciarla as I have no pictures or letters or anything to confirm any of the history that I have been told.

If you, or anyone you know, may know anything about him, please contact me. I would be very grateful.

janice todesca stinnett, fort pierce, florida     April 18, 2011


Letters from 2010 are below

Dear Editor, I just found your web site, and let me say it is very interesting. My father and his family lived in Port Morris. My father was raised there, and my grandfather worked for the railroad. I know very little about them and wondered if anyone could fill me in on information about them , as they had passed on before i was born, and dad talked very little of them. Their names were Paul and Florence Schroder. My dads name was Chester B. Schroder. I have a jackknife with the printing on it : Paul Schroder Box 85 Port Morris . With the date on the other side of May 1 ,1904. I would appreciate it if anyone knew my family and could fill me in on a little history. Also I would like to find out what was so special about that date. I was born in Wilkes-Barre , Pa. Raised in Newton Falls Ohio, and returned to Pa. around 1960. I have sinced moved to Texas. I would appreciate any information i receive. my name is John Paul Schroder and can be contacted via my e-mail. Thank you and may GOD bless all.    December 7, 2010

Dear Editor,
I came across your web page and it brought tears to my eyes. I spent every summer from 1952-1964 in our summer home in Shore Hills Estates-4 Lyons Road. We shopped at Vinnie Gutwein's supermarket. We ate burgers at the Shore Hills Inn. Went went to nickel nite at Bertrand Island. We played ball with the "men" Sunday mornings Led by Dr. Sid Greenhut and Red-the 2 pitchers. We had a pre teen club and a teen club that had weekly dances. The locomotion was the big dance. Mike Dzinski led the way. We got hot dogs at Tony's atomic hot dogs on route 10. We swam at the lake-protected by Al the lifeguard. Went to the movies at the Ledgewood drive in-dollar a car on Wed.  Some people had boats and we went water skiing. Landing had a supermarket also. As well as Rocky's row boats where we rented boats and fished in the lake. What wonderful memories .
Thank You,  Sam Menahem    October 19, 2010

Dear Editor:
I remember going to Bertrand's Island as a kid. I was born in 1960 and grew up in Belleville after living my first 5 years in Hackettstown.

We had such fun there! I still can hear the clackety clack of the wooden roller coaster. I also remember when it caught fire in the 1970's, (!!) I think.
The Tunnel of Love, The beautiful Carousel, the kiddie area with the cups and saucers twirling around, Mom getting her treat of a candy apple every time we went, the nickel and dime nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I think) and I remember that the rides didn't go for a very long time on those nights - some of them seemed to start and them stop almost immediately LOL - but that was all Mom and Dad could afford at the time. I remember when I was finally allowed into the Haunted House ride and came out SCREAMING and crying. LOL That image just popped back in my head while remembering the park. Funny how that happens, huh?.
I distinctly remember Mom FORBIDDING us to touch the water that the boats floated in. haha
Sincerely, David Pekrol.  Idyllwild, CA   September 6, 2010

As a young boy summering in Landing, I remember the sign out in front and the name Buff Cobb starring in a play on the
Marquee, I didn't much care about that at the time.

Many years later my construction co. was hired to renovate the Funeral Home that was on site, It was managed by Mike
Orifinno of Shore Hills and a member of our fire CO. (Roxbury Co. No. 2) The business was just purchased by the Leber Bros. from Jersey City, they owned a few funeral homes there and were expanding to Landing and then later to a home in Chester. Joe Cinotti was to manage this site for them.

I read the letters and Toes, has asked if anyone remembers. Well, I thought you might enjoy some info that I have. As we were installing some new electrical lines under the floor we entered the crawl space that still exists today and discovered the theater seats in the front still bolted to the floor. The only seats removed when the floor was leveled were the ones that interfered with the new decking.

Another interesting thing was out in the rear parking lot was a building that looked like a military barrack in service. Inside was a large open room where cots were used for the actors to stay. Johnny Apostolik who owned the West Moreland Restaurant down the street (It was where Rumors is now a much different type of operation) told me some of these stories later in life. Johnny was Walter's brother and he wrote the original Lake Hopatcong Breeze newspaper. Johnny also showed me the Bar Tab from Orson Wells that he kept by the register. We did find Playbills and tickets and that type of items during the demolition. I'm sorry I didn't keep these items to give to Marty Kane and the Museum and Marty Kane.

I have one of the pictures during construction and it shows the original front that was on the Playbill in these letters. I will find it and post it. The good part is that the completed job still stands today as we completed it and who knew I would get that chance later in my life.

Toes, you are in a picture with Don Brown who became my very good friend until his untimely death. I'm sure we could share some great stories about Landing.
Tom Valiante  - July 12, 2010

Our extended family lived in Landing in the late 40's thru the mid 60's. My grandfather was a contractor, my father an
enthusiastic none professional construction worker that built us a beautiful yellow house on the corner of Mansel and
Davesel drives. Our family name was Schwartz.
I have often thought of our summers, friends and adventures ( talent shows, little Indians learning to swimming in the lake, morning hikes to the post office, bowling and movies in Dover and of course Bertrands island.
I would love to know if our home still stands and possibly contribute some of my memorabilia to your website.
I look forward to hearing from you.  Sincerely,  Ellen Bulkis   -   May 26, 2010

Dear Editor,
My wife and I just finished watching a very enjoyable website on Bertrand's Island Amusement Park at lake Hopatcong New Jersey that was emailed to us by friends living in Sussex County, NJ. We are presently living on the central coast of California in the little town of Nipomo. The Bertrand Island article brought back many exciting and fun memories of our individual visits with our respective families to the amusement park. It always seemed so big to us through our eyes as kids then...we are both now 67 and retired. My wife lived in the town of Newton, county seat of Sussex County, and I lived just off of Route 206 near Ross Corner with a Lafayette RD address.

Neither of our families could be called affluent so our visits to Bertrand Island were limited to occasional "Nickel Nights" which I believe were on Monday and Thursday nights as I recall. My Dad worked as a boiler man for Henry Becker and Sons in their creamery for nearly 35 years at their Ross Corner location. He never made more than $100 per week, but managed to raise seven children who have all gone on to successful lives, and all are still living. However none are in NJ. We were a close and loving family, and just happy to have an opportunity to enjoy the rides and activities at the amusement park infrequently. We all have fond memories of Bertrand Island Nickel Night out tings including the picnics thee, and swimming there in Lake Hopatcong. It was our "Happiest Place on Earth" right there in NJ.
I left home in 1961 after graduating from Newton High School, and subsequently served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict. I have often reflected back to those happy days and times, though few, at Bertrand Island. I never realized until viewing the website that it remained open until 1983, or I just may have returned to visit the island park again.
I believe my generation with all its experiences have lived through the best years of this country. It is a real shame that such a place does not still exist for those less fortunate, but unfortunately time marches on for us all.
Thank you for sharing the memories of the Bertrand Island Amusement Park.
Michael H. Clayton -  May 7, 2010

Dear Editor,
Thanks for a great website. It brings back many memories of childhood in Jersey. I grew up in Stillwater, near Newton. I can recall a few outings to Bertrand Island with family and friends. If memory serves me correctly, there was a ride, perhaps called the Hurricane Fence or something like that.
When you entered, all the riders took places standing along a chain link fence that circled the center of the ride. Once it started the centrifugal force kept you pinned to the fence and the ride did not stay horizontal, but slowly tipped upward on an angle. I am not sure if it actually went to full perpendicular to the ground, but it went pretty high. Am I just imagining this at Bertrand's, or was it actually there? I get the various amusement parks confused. We went to Jones Beach, Coney Island, and others as well.
Thanks for any help with this question.
Carl Roof,  Woodstock, VT   May 6, 2010 -  

ive been a resident of landing for 32 years, and this is the first time i have ever heard of "hoppie" and that is because of your great website....can u elaborate more on what he is or where he is??? or is this a you -
quepasafonz@a -----  February 22, 2010

If you peruse any of the older histories of the Lake Hopatcong area, you will hear of several old Indian legends of a large Lake creature of sorts, and these are cited in reputable historical works, including those of Dr. Theodore F. Wolfe, Morris County Historian. The most specific is of one of the last Native Americans in the area, who in the late 1800's took several  Ice Workers from one of the local ice cutting operations out to the center of the Lake, where they peered through the ice and saw the large creature near the lake bottom.

Only slightly less authoritative would be all the promotional literature put out by the two competing Railroads who sought to fill up trains around 1910 with city dwellers eager for some cool mountain air and a glimpse of the long fabled Lake Creature.

Added to this, and perhaps even less authoritative would be the numerous testimonies of our fellow Landing residents who, after a long afternoon out on a boat in the middle of the Lake under a blazing sun, their powers of observation aided by the consumption of several six-packs and wine coolers, have been startled by a fully formed Hoppie Lake Creature that was swimming alongside their boat, hoping to tip it over so that he could also partake of the brew.

No Hoppie! You have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. Yes dear reader, there is a HOPPIE LAKE CREATURE in good 'ole lake Hopatcong. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. No Hoppie! You might as well not believe in Fairies, Santa Claus or Hanukah Harry !! Thank God Hoppie lives, and lives forever.        Sincerely, Francis P. Church, Landing Sun

Hi, I'm doing research into the background of my family, and came across your site. My grandparents, John and Eleanor Knudson, owned the River Styx miniature golf course in Lake Hopatcong. My mother and sister spent many summers there, and I have vague memories of the stand and the grounds. My parents worked there the first summer they were married, and stayed on in the fall because they didn't have anywhere else to live at the time. Mom says
by November it was really cold with no heat in the stand.

I am searching for pictures of the golf course, and would appreciate any feedback from people who remember my grandmother running the miniature golf course.... Thanks, Leslie Fields  -  January 7, 2010 - 

Letters from 2010 - Brown Box above
The most recent "letters" appear at the top


Letters from 2009 - Purple Box
The most recent "letters" appear at the top

dear editor,

kindly excuse my usage of all lowercase lettering. it is my preferred form of writing due to arthritis.
with my family and i spending much time at lee's park, mt. arlington for swimming and picnics, then, sometimes attending bertrand island park, as early as age 5, i recall being torn between fear & joy during my first rides on both 'the whip and tilt-a-whirl. it wasn't long before i was in love with the adventure of amusement rides which sustained my life.
shortly thereafter, during another visit, my cousin, david, stepped out of the kiddie boat ride (with the bell in front which was rung by pulling a cotton type string/rope) into the water basin which contained the stationary boats and soaked his leg, sock and shoe. everyone had quite a laugh over the silly mistake. i recall my uncle wearing one of the souvenier fringed, straw sombreros. i wasn't brave or tall enough to ride dodge 'em cars. (i remember the large lettered sign now known only as bumper cars and what seemed to me to be scarey sparks atop the electrical rods)

ronnie, my cousin of same age, david's younger brother, became ill upon exiting the boomerang after we three were vigorously tossed about. while aghast at my cousin's upset, i, on the other hand, was exhilarated from the motion.
throughout much of my adolescence, i spent a great deal of time at the park. on several occasions i enjoyed arriving by boat at the courtesy of my beloved boyfriend, ronnie on his fourteen ft. thompson runabout. (once, even at night)
two of my favorite delights were catching brass rings on the fabulous carousel (for which i wish i could find a photo) (i was, however, most happy to view photos on your web page) as well as riding the (wildcat) roller coaster on nickel night nearly fifty times. "no kidding."

my memories are fifty-five years old, incredibly vivid and obviously, very close to my heart.

my paternal grandmother and step-grandfather lived at nolans point, jefferson twp., lake hopatcong for forty years. having water skied throughout my teens, i still remember virtually every cove of the lake. for a period in my thirties, i resided in hopatcong near river styx.

thank you for your web site and the rousing of fantastic reminiscence. i'm glad to know there is a bertrand island park tribute at the hopatcong historic museum and commemorative plaque.
very truly yours,   jackke friend, lakehurst nj  September 28, 2009

To Barbara from Denver, and all other past Landing/ Shore Hills residents. Many of us have been dated by our memories. I was there from first grade till we left in 1970. I'm 53 now. We lived on Colver Road, Atlas Dr, Ford Road and I think Vail road at one point. My Dad had a wandering spirit it appears!
Oh yeah Barbara you hit all my highlights! While we had all seasons there, winter was always my favorite.
SNOW made the world wonderful pure and innocent. Not to mention the occasional time there was a day of school missed due to it! Like a bonus. The fire lane, now that was a good sled hill! I have no idea how many knots on my head I went home with from that place! And at the end of the run if you got great speed, you better be able to dodge going across the road at the end of it, that's where many of my knots came from! And I did successfully cross the street at the end of the run, sparks a flyin, and end up in the small drainage ditch on the other side. Wore those times like a badge of honor! Didn't get hit by a car coming down the hill, only wet!! My adopted grandad papa Joe Vilanno took me to the adjoining woods a number of times to help him pick grapes. Yeah there were a lot of purple grapes available within 1-2
hundred feet of the fire lane. Just had to know where they were and when they were available. Seems they got squished and sugar and yeast and stuff added, but what did I know, I was a kid!? Got sidetracked from snow, the duckpond was a favorite all year long. Catching frogs was a warm weather fine time. When It was cold the duck pond was the definition of cool! Skating, burning tires, the occasional first cigarette cause who would know that anyone was smoking with all that black smoke swirling around?
Hockey games. And as I have said also, When it was snowing, life was magic. To this once young guy, I believe I would still get the same feeling from snow, but, this is Florida! Gutweins, that was a kids paradise. Had cooked food, strawberry licorice, hard and soft rolls fresh baked, and doughnuts that you could watch coming from the machine into the hot grease. The whole process only took a couple minutes from start to finish. Dipped in cinnamon sugar or chocolate. I have asked before but yet to get an answer, does anyone know the story on Walking Charlie? I remember hearing as a kid that he was just a railroad bum that decided he liked the area and stayed. Obviously he was the founder of the "Trenchcoat Mafia" , but is that all there is to the story? If so, oh well! I love your page and put my email out in the hope of finding old friends and acquaintances.   Be well all! It's bedtime in Fl.
Dale Bennett,      September 9, 2009  (Hello Dale, Thanks for your previously unknown story of Landing's very own winery!  Got any bottles still stashed away, Hmmm??)

Reading through these letters brings back so many fond memories of my childhood growing up in Landing. I grew up in Shore Hills on Curtis Road. Our house backed up to the woods which were wonderful to explore in the summertime. We'd be out from sun up to sun down enjoying everything our little corner of the world had to offer. We used to go into the woods and swing off the big vines and play in our tree house.
Sometimes we'd venture as far as Howard Blvd and think we were SOooo far from home! We'd entertain ourselves riding bikes, running under sprinklers and catching fire flies for hours on end. Mom would take us to the Shore Hills Beach and Dad would come "relieve" her when he got home from work. Many happy times swimming in Lake Hopatcong. Another big summertime thrill was Nickel Night at Bertrand Island and being given a dollar or two to walk "into town" for some treats. And of course going to Cliff's for ice cream and loading us kids, clad in jammies, into the station wagon for movies at the Ledgewood Drive-In were always a big hit. In the wintertime we'd ride our sleds down the fire lane across the street from our house, ice skate at the pond and the lake and build snowmen and tunnels throughout the yard. I can still smell our mittens drying on the heater vents. Oh, and the fun we would have when it REALLY snowed. 
And Gutwein's. Who can forget Gutwein's? I still call it that to this day... And of course, my memories
of Landing/Shore Hills would not be complete without Walking Charlie.
Such a wonderful place to grow up. Thanks so much for this website and the obvious hours of work and
dedication you've put into it. I've thoroughly enjoyed it!
Barbara - Denver, Colorado - August 23, 2009

Hi,  My name is Patricia and I grew up in Oak Ridge New Jersey in the late 50's, 60's, and early 70's. My family always took us to Bertrands Island every summer after school let out. It was so much fun, and it was about family. Thank you for publishing those wonderful memories (pictures) on the internet!  I wished that I could go back in time to relive all the fun and bring my grown children!
Alway, Patricia Stickney  -  August 15, 2009

My husband remembers hearing about the Ice Wagon pulling Ice out of the lake and it letting go and the cart and horses all went in and were never recovered. Is this true? where can he read of it? Thanks. Love your site, brings back so many memories.  July 29, 2009  (Ice harvesting was a dangerous job, and fatal industrial accidents in general were far more common 2 generations ago than today. While I've never read of this specific incident in all my resources, perhaps one of our readers has and will email us. Editor)

During the Summers of 1959, 60 and 61, while vacationing at Cranberry Lake, a highlight of the season was our gang's caravan to Bertrand's Island for "Nickel Night". Our parents would drop us off about 6, and pick us up at 11 p.m. I always begrudged the roller coaster attendant because he charged a dime. But I still rode it as many times as I could. And you had to win one of those huge straw hats from the "Guess your weight and age" guy. On the carousel the goal was not only to snag as many brass rings as you could, but to hide them from the attendant. He watched us like a hawk. I got away with a few.  Probably gave them to girls I was chatting up.  Great fun.  Thanks for the photos.
Robert Larson  - May 24, 2009

In response to Lori Z on fire at Bertrand Island Amusement Park the fire started in the power house for the Roller Coaster by sparks from a faulty electric motor igniting flammable material which set the power house on fire. The power house was under the Coasters first hill so that was set on fire along with parts of the Lost River. One coaster car was stopped on top of the first hill and all riders evacuated to safe ground thru the loading dock on the coaster, boats in the lost river where stopped and all people where evacuated thru the picnic pavilion on the hill behind the rides. No human or animal life was lost in the fire.
This should be quite accurate as I was a Police office with Mt. Arlington at that time and had just pulled up to the Island saw the flames coming out of power house and called the fire in and notified operators to evacuate their rides. Three Fire Co where called Mt. Arlington, Port Morris and Jefferson, Jefferson also brought their fire boat. The PA system on one of the ambulances was used to try and get the people in the lower parking lot to leave so that fire equipment could get to the fire. The people in upper lot were stuck until after the fire as the fire blocked the road to upper Island. Due to quick response of all fire companies damages were down and both rides back in action shortly. I also did investigation of fire.  Roger T,   April 11, 2009  (Thank You Officer Roger T, for giving us the Official report, and thanks even more for your service to our community!! Editor)

Subject is the Lakeside Summer Playhouse. Here I am again, with things I am remembering but can't put my finger on.

The theater is now a funeral parlor but it was built I think around 1942. The first play had a star who was once a "actual star" in the movies, mainly playing a gangster's moll or a second rate actress. I know I saw the play and I think one of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas.

The second season was lighthearted fluff. Lon McAllister doing summer stock. He was in several movies, "Stage Door Canteen". "Winged Victory" "Summer Lightning" and several other films. We teenagers used to go to Landing Dock in the afternoons to watch the player's try out their lines. I ran directly into McAllister when leaving the post office one day. He was very pleasant, and I met my first and only movie star.

The theater started showing movies (old ones) or second rate ones. I saw "Phantom of the Opera" with Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster and Claude Rains. Nelson Eddy ruined the picture. Too old to appear with Susanna Foster, who didn't make many pictures.

I have strayed from what I really want to know. Does anyone else remember the theater? Maybe the Lake Hopatcong Museum might have something - or the Breeze Magazine?

Just curious..... It was a great memory!  "Toes"  February 18, 2009

Hello Toes, Thanks for writing again!
We need more of your first hand remembrances. About the Lakeside Summer Theatre, the folder at left is from the 1949 season. The origin of the Theatre is with the many 'Show Business Folk' who vacationed at the Lake in large numbers starting in the 1920's. Additionally, the phenomenon of 'Summer Stock' Playhouses in mountain resort areas became fashionable when city theatres were stifling in summer heat, before air-conditioning. Several 'Summer tryouts' for Broadway took place at the "Lakeside Summer Theatre", located in the building that now houses Leber-Lakeside Funeral Home on Landing Road. Some of the shows here from the 1930's  thru the 1950's were directed by Herbert Machiz, a Broadway Theater Director, who though not well known to the public, was highly regarded by leading actors of the day. It is said that summer performers here included Jackie Coogan, John Carradine & Bela Lugosi. One of the regular summer performers during this era was Orson Wells, who maintained an active running 'tab' at the Westmoreland Bar.  (Editor)

Dear Editor,
I moved my family from Jersey City to Landing in 1972. We built a house on Mansel Rd. The back of the house faced Mansel and the front was on a dirt road, referred to as Rodgers Lane. At that time only a few houses fronted the dirt road. We had woods everywhere. Living in Landing was the best move I ever made. In winter, we could sleigh ride on the dirt road and ice skate on the duck pond and lake. My children became great skaters, swimmers and fishermen. My boys are fish fiends till this day. All my children are boaters as well. We enjoyed the lake tremendously. Sailing to Bertrand Island Amusement Park was a pleasure. We paid no admission if we entered the park from the lake and docking was free also.
Viewing the 4th of July fire works from the lake was always a treat. I was a member of the Shore Hills Country Club for many years. A good public school education was an added benefit for our children. I moved from Landing in December of 1991. It was a traumatic and sad day for the entire family. I still have a son in the Kenvil section of Roxbury and another in West Milford, so we return a few times every year. Although I now reside in South Carolina and my daughter in North Carolina, we will always have warm remembrances of our years in Landing. Yes, the population has grown ten-fold since 1972, but it is still a great family environment. Thanks for the history and letters. I've read everyone of them.
Respectfully Submitted,  Pete & Felisa Stanich  (January 26, 2009)
(Hello Pete & Felisa & thanks for writing. Like many who have moved away, you have good memories. Have any Landing outdoor photos to scan at high quality and send us, hmm?? Editor)

Letters from 2009 in Purple Box above


Letters from 2008 - Orange Box below
The most recent "letters" appear toward the top of this box

Last week was my 80th birthday and reading the newspapers with all the dire predictions, I reviewed in my mind those years gone by.

I was born in 1928 and the next year 1929 came the market crash and the start of the Great Depression. Of course, I didn't know much about it then. My father had built a house he bought from Sears. It came like a puzzle, and my parents, in fact the whole family was proud of it. My father worked for the Lackawanna railroad and he was soon laid off. I had three older brothers and one of my first memories was my father and the boys heading into the woods to gather wood to keep us warm. I remember my mother coming into the bedroom and telling my to stay in bed until the house got warmer as the fire in the furnace started to warm the house.
My oldest brother joined the CCC camp and it was the only income we had coming in. Soon the bank foreclosed and we started on a series of moves. At my young age I was thrilled to moved from house to house. From Landing to Port Morris; Port Morris to Succasunna; Succasunna to Kenvil; Kenvil to Shippingport, and then finally to my grandfather's house. By this time times were getting better.
But how my sister and I, before the first move, would watch my father go up the road to the railroad yards for a nights work. He would stop at the curve in the road and wave his lantern for us looking out the kitchen window.
One other thing none of would forget was the town food. It was horrible, but we managed to get it down. We got free milk at the school, but we paid an awful price for it. The teacher would announce those pupils on the free lunch should go to the basement for our lunch. I didn't really think much about it, I was around 6 or 7. My sister however never forgot those days.
As the youngest, most all my clothes were home made and given to me from a neighbor. There were three boys in that family also and I would have to go over to their house, stand on a chair in the kitchen while they tried the clothes on me. The three boys said and watched and teased until I was allowed to escape back home.
Looking back now, I wish I could see my brother from the CCC came and thank him for keeping the family together.
TOES7234  December 10, 2008
(Toes, you've done it again !! YOU should be the OFFICIAL HISTORIAN of Landing !  Editor)

Dear Editors,
Thanks a million for your great website, my son Raymond 3rd wrote several years ago and I would like to add a few memories I have, I lived at 48 Laurie Rd. from the late 60s to early 70s. We of course joined the Country Club where I was Youth Activities director for a couple of years organizing the "Battle of the Bands" which was very successful. I remember one year there was a drought and water was pumped from Landing to the Jersey City Reservoir, they ran the huge pumps day and night with a huge black hose meandering its way to the reservoir, I remember the night every fall hearing the migrating Canadian Geese making their yearly stop in Landing, you could hear them coming from miles away and if it was a mild winter many would stay, I believe you have year round residents now. I remember the lake freezing over and the ice boats, skaters and skidoos on the lake and every year at least one skidoo would break through the ice, I bet there are still a few laying down on the bottom. I remember the roller coaster catching on fire and I and several residents climbed up and helped the folks trapped in the coaster cars climb down , I didn't think too much of it but my kids thought I was a hero and that was wonderful. We paid $11,00.00 for the little house and was afraid that was way too much, then they completed Rt. 80 and the building boom happened and we sold it for a phenomenal price of $30,000.00 .We moved to WV where I bought 20 acres of woodland on the Elk River for $2,100.00 and years later we bought an adjoining 10 acre parcel for $2,300.00, I am in the process of building a beautiful log cabin on the river to live out my retirement years in (I am recently divorced), I would imagine that the cabin, land and timber will be valued at around $70,000.00 which I will pay about $40.00 a yr. taxes on.
A couple of years ago while visiting in NJ I sadly walked around the spot where the demolished Bertrand's Island sat and found a tiny railroad spike likely from the roller coaster. What wonderful memories, thanks again for your website.
Fondly, Raymond Krautheim Jr,, PO Box 249, Webster Springs, WV 26288  - December 7, 2008
(Hello Raymond, Thanks for sharing your great memories !! Well, a quick look at reveals that in September 2007 that house on Laurie Road sold for $ 245,000  !! So, in West Virginia you're only paying 40 dollars a year in taxes? Hmmm, maybe I can send our Roxbury Town Council down there for a lesson on thrifty Municipal Government !! Editor)

Wow.. this is just wonderful..will take some time to read it all but for now.. just a thank you and BIG HELLO
to the shore hills gang of the 50's.. i lived on dorothy lane with my family.. mom, dad, grandpa and sister lori.. and of
course my big boxer buddy,kim..  still in touch with some of the "kids".. most of us turned SEVENTY last year but my days at the lake are still fresh and very special in my mind..  after 33 years in san diego, i headed to reno/sparks nevada..been here 15 years and just love the seasons, mountains above  town, the snow and the beautiful OTHER LAKE.. tahoe is just about 45 minutes away. it's beautiful but my heart will always  be at MY LAKE.. will write again soon.. for best to you all..hope any of my "OLD" friends who read this will drop a note..   -  barbara d'ambrosio caruso    October 1, 2008

 Hi,  I enjoyed your webpage on Bertrand's Island Amusement Park. I was there the night of the fire (the roller coaster and Lost River were in flames). I'm surprised there isn't any info on that fire. It's hard to find this information on the internet as well, but I only ran a quick search on Yahoo.

I can't remember the date of the fire, I think I read it was 1970. I would have been 8 years old at the time, but I can remember that night as if it were yesterday. I still picture the roller coaster car at the top of the peak, surrounded by flames, and I think people were climbing down the sides. My family had split up to go on different rides and I kept asking my mother why the sunset was so bright orange (I didn't realize part of the park was in flames). The only way for us to exit the park was to walk through the batting cages, but I remember that the flames were on the other side, and I was afraid to walk towards them. We didn't know where the rest of our family was, and my mother was afraid that my sisters had gone on the roller coaster. (we eventually found everyone).
It was very chaotic. A booming PA voice repeated asked people to leave the park. I can picture the face of one of the roller coaster riders as she walked by. She looked like she was in shock, her eyes staring and tears running down her face as she leaned on someone who was walking her out of the park. I can even remember the song that was playing of the radio as we drove out of the parking lot "Standing in the Shadows of Love" by The Four Tops. Whenever I hear that song, the images and even the feelings of that night come rushing back...even after all this time...I remember hearing that the little dog from the Lost River was killed in that fire. I'm not sure if that was true, but it was hard to deal with that as an 8-year old.

Considering I was 8 at the time, I am not sure how accurately I have remembered these facts, but the mental images have not changed throughout my life. I guess they are real from my 8-year old perception. I wrote several stories about that night during elementary school, so it must have had an effect on me in some way. I would be curious to hear the actual facts of the fire, and other memories from people who were in attendance that night.

Bertrand's Island Amusement Park was really a great place, and I was very sad when it closed down.
Anyway, thanks for the webpage, and the chance to revisit a piece of my past.
Lori Z    July 30, 2008

(Hello Lori, Re your Fire story, I'll forward it to the expert, Martin Kane, for verification. Editor)

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the opportunity to share fond memories from my childhood. Just like some of my childhood friends who also have written about their memories of Landing, I too have a few that I feel represent some of the best that Landing had to offer me as a child.

My sister Joy and I lived at 44 Salmon Road, in one of the homes built in the late 60's. I remember Mrs. Janow; an Artist who lived across the street, telling my parents that the neighborhood was built by artists and those that wanted to vacation in the "country". All the houses in the neighborhood were different and had their own character. Our home, like many that were built during that time, was built for year-round living. And boy did we live!

I remember going out in the morning with my friends and coming home just after the street lights came on. We played all day outside and returned like looking like a bunch of ragamuffins. In the summer time, the tar on the road would get hot and bubble up. We would go around and pop the bubbles with our feet. They got all full of tar and we would all get in trouble with our Mom's but, we would be back out doing it again the next night. On some nights, the fireflies would come out and we would catch tons of them in jars before letting them go. We also used to play in the yard with this glow-in-the-dark Frisbee we had. The girls would play against the boys, but, it was just cute excuse to tackle each other.
My Dad built the best swing set in the backyard out of plumbing pipes. It was so strong that all of us kids would climb onto the seats and swing together as high as we could before jumping off.

No one had a pool in those days, so we all waited around for the Ice Cream Man. When we heard his music, we all scattered to beg our parents for a few dollars. I remember getting the red, white, and blue, Rocket and using the red as lipstick.  He also sold candy; Fun Dip being my choice. To cool off even more, we would run through the lawn sprinklers or shoot each other with water from the hose. Primitive but it got the job done. On rare occasions, we got to go to The State Park and swim at the beach or climb around under the bridge in the waterfall. Those were all day trips and cost money so, they were limited.

We all played in the woods behind our houses. There were paths to and from just about anywhere. My friends and I built forts in the woods with rocks, trees, wood from our Dad's, and whatever else we could find. I remember that Keith Baker had the best tree fort ever! I think it was so high in the trees that it was over the roof on his parent's house. He just took wood at nailed it into the tree trunk and we all just climbed on up! I can't even believe we did that. We played in the woods and hiked all over. We took our dogs with us as protection but, they would never have bit anyone because they were too busy exploring too.

Frankie Dellacroce; Daria's older brother, built a ramp for our bikes. He laid it in the middle of the street and we all went to town trying to get our wheels in the air. Most of us littler kids wiped out and went home to get bandaged up only to come back and try again. We rode our bikes everywhere back then. My Mom used to give me $20.00 to go to Gutwein's to get milk, bread, and a carton of cigarettes for her. I used to go with Tommy Acacia and we were allowed to get one piece of candy each for our service. We would pile everything into my white, plastic basket that was on my handlebars. The ride down the hill to the store was always the best. Coming home was mostly a walk uphill just pushing our bikes.

In the winter time, my Dad would attach a wooden trailer to his lawn tractor. He would go around the neighborhood and collect all the kids. We would drive through the winter wonderland of the Landing hills. When the snow was so bad that cars were stuck, all the parents gave the kids money for food and we got to go down to Gutwein's for the basics.

Halloween was an all day event. Most Moms made our costumes and we used pillow cases to carry the "loot". There was one house that gave away canned soda. We would all go to their house, circle the block, and go back for another one. One house at the end of Salmon, gave out pennies. My house had a big witch on it that my Mom made. I used to be sacred of it when I was younger. She also made a Santa for Christmas and an American flag for the Fourth of July.

The slide at the Shore Hills Country Club was the only other thing that scared me growing up. It was so high and I was so little. I would climb up, get scared, and have to climb back down. All the kids on the ladder behind me hated me then. At last, some bigger kid was finished with all that and gave me a push. I screamed the whole way down, got a mouth full of water, forgot about my fear, and got back in line to go again. There was also a spinning merry-go-round that we would all get on and the Dad's would give it a really big spin. We got dizzy, said we felt sick, and begged them to stop, only to ask them to do it all over again.

I know that we did not have it easy back then but, some of the best times I had with my family and friends were in Landing. Friendships were started, some ended, some still remain. However, I would love to be back there again, in that time of innocence, in my hometown, with the kids I knew, and the family I love, for just one more day so that all of this wouldn't yet be a memory.

I hope this finds all of you well and full of fond memories of our childhood. We certainly are among the lucky.

Diana Palen (Fleet)  July 27, 2008

Dear Sir,
As a former resident of Landing, I am in awe of your web site!! The page sent to me was originally sent from folks who were part of the influx of 'young married with children' in the early '60's. Our kids started at Washington School and "transferred" to Nixon...within sight of my house, still requiring a "busing" (no sidewalks).

At this point in my life I am back "HOME" in Morristown. The kicker is...I am on the Board of Trustees at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in Morristown. I am also a docent. Some of the material in these articles will help me make the George Macculloch/ Morris Canal more informative. I will continue to check out this site (I put it in my "favorites"). I have also sent the web address to my kids, hoping they will show it to their children...a look a times gone ...forever!
Thank you,  Arline Dodge  Morristown, NJ  July 14, 2008

I grew up on Salmon Road, and our house baked up to the woods. My parents are still there, the original owners from when they bought in ’69. My mom tells me that the real estate office was the old stone train station, but it may have actually been in the stone octagonal building which got torn down. In any case, the mortgage rep did not consider her salary when approving them for a mortgage, because she was a woman and was going to stay home and raise kids. Never mind that she earned more than my dad! So, for the grand sum of $22,000, our life in Landing began. I was 8 months old when we closed on the house, my sister Heather was 4.

Since I was a kid, there was always talk of a developer building behind our house – the trail that went from “my” end of Salmon Rd and came out near the corner of Matthew and Salmon was always referred to as Davis Rd. When we were 5, Bobby Rydell and I vowed to stop the bulldozers and would stand in the middle of the road, hold hands with our arms outstretched so as to prevent them from gaining access to the woods.

Although I was not allowed to play in the woods, of course I did anyway. I wandered the trails with my friends as I got a little older, and found a great spot on Davis Rd. to play house among the rocks and trees that grew out of them at a 90 degree angle. I smoked my first, and last, cigarette with Naoko Ohmura. Then, we walked down to the deli to buy Scope. We even washed our hands with it if I recall. Somehow my parents never found out – I would have been in big trouble!

You could always hear the sound of dirt bikes in the background since a lot of kids were back there careening around the trails. I was more afraid of getting accidentally run over than whatever woods-dwelling whacko my parents were trying to protect me from!

After over 30 years of talk, it finally happened and my worst fears were realized. I visited my parents last weekend (June 2008) and was absolutely appalled that the developer clear cut the woods. So much for the “selective cutting” that was supposed to happen. I’m telling you, no exaggeration; it looks like someone dropped a bomb back there. All the way from behind my house to the end of Mansel and down the hill, it looks like a war zone. With the housing market the way it is, no new houses are being built yet. There is just chopped down woods for no purpose I can see, and it makes me ill.

On a happier note, I remember the absolute freedom of my mom kicking us out about 9:00AM on a Saturday morning and not needing to be home until dinner. I was able to ride my bike everywhere, up and down every street in Shore Hills. I don’t know how I got fed or where I went to the bathroom, but someone would always help you out. I loved skating at the Duck Pond in my double runner skates, vying for ice with the hockey players. One year Mom, Heather and I skated across the lake to the State Park and back again.

I had lots of fun spending every summer day at Shore Hills Country Club, then getting into our Plymouth Scamp with the vinyl seats and practically getting a 3rd degree burn, THEN coming home to a meat locker – my mom, aka “Our Lady of Perpetual Hot Flash” would leave the window air conditioners on all day at full blast, so when we came in all wet and sandy, we froze to death! Speaking of 3rd degree burns, what was with that metal slide they had positioned in the sand? Yikes!

Naoko, Linda Henrich, Della Murarick, Diana Fleet and I would go down to Gutwein’s to buy Dr. Pepper and Bubblicious, cross the street to sit on the docks and talk about whatever it is that 7th grade girls talk about. I’m sure it included boys, our “mean” parents, whatever, but clearly not our awful taste in gum! We also played in the new houses as they were being constructed. Naoko had both MTV and HBO which I thought was the coolest thing. (As an aside, my parents JUST got cable about 3 years ago! I made them throw out their 8 track player too.)

I loved Gutwein’s! My mom used to do a full week’s shopping there in 20 minutes while my sister and I stayed in the car. Those were the days – what I wouldn’t do to be able to leave my kids to duck into a store without getting arrested for child endangerment! But it was different then – we could be children, we could explore our neighborhood. We didn’t have our lives micromanaged and play dates were unnecessary. There was a peripheral fear of strangers but it didn’t impact our lives much.

I think that’s why I so fondly remember growing up in Landing, even though it was the “cheap seats” according to my dad! So many windings roads and trails, amazing Halloween hauls since the houses were so close together; a relatively contained but huge neighborhood made Shore Hills a great place to grow up. I’m proud that I came from a community where you were expected to work to get the things you wanted – for example, cars were not just handed out because you graduated high school. You want a car? Get a job and pay for your beat up old jalopy yourself. That’s what I want to pass on to my kids.  -  Laurel Carr Collins  June 20, 2008

Hello,    I was surfing the internet trying to find my relatives since I'm doing my family tree. And I found your site. Wow. What Wonderful stories. I sure enjoyed each and everyone of them.  I'm trying to find out information on my Great Uncle and Aunt. They were from Port Morris, NJ.
They were John W. Bowlby and Deborah (Johnson) Bowlby. John died in 1925. And Deborah died in 1946. Any Help you can get me would be Great. My email : 
Sincerely,  Peggy  -  June 8, 2008

(Anyone know of the Bowlby family? Contact Peggy at the email above, Editor)

Great web site! Moved from Landing, right up and across from the beach club, almost 20 years ago after living there about 20 years. Was looking at the old house on internet maps from a site and noticed "Silver Springs" placed over my old house. Never having heard of Silver Springs, I checked other mapping sites and found Silver Springs on them too.
Very confusing, and I suspect it's all your fault.
I called the township clerk and whoever answered told me there was a Lake Silver Springs nearby, but THEY NEVER HEARD OF SILVER SPRINGS.
I called the Chamber of Commerce and the person covering the phones NEVER HEARD OF....
Then, pretty much by accident, my 3rd or 4th search found me your site. I'm just writing in good fun, but it was quite a put-back seeing "Silver Springs" on the maps when the name really isn't in use anymore - as near as I can tell. In any event, I'm delighted that I found your site. Loved the pix of Bertrand Island! Will be exploring more in the future.   
Charlie McNally    June 7, 2008

(Editor:  CHARLIE, your contacts are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe a place exists except they have traveled through it.
Yes, CHARLIE, there is a SILVER SPRINGS NEW JERSEY. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,
additionally it exists on the east shore of Lake Hopatcong from just north of Shore Hills Beach, continuing north for a half mile to the King's Cove area, and encompassing all of 3 public roads, westward to Mt. Arlington Blvd. In fact, your humble Editor just peered out the window of his office, and he can see it presently.
No Silver Springs! You might as well not believe in Hoppie, the Lake Hopatcong Creature! Thank God this hamlet lives, and lives forever.  Francis P. Church, Landing Sun)

I have many great memories of Lake Hopatcong. I hope others can experience what I had.
As I was growing up...(We lived in the Suburbs of NJ (W Orange)... My Mother took all the children (4 of us) to "The Lake" each summer. She enrolled us in the Swim League of that time (1970's)...The NJRLL (New Jersey Regional Lake League). What good times we had! ..Our Swim Team... (The "Vikings").
were "Number One" most years. Our family made up most of the team...the Cicalese, Randazzo & Chew family. Swim Teams were very large in numbers back in the 1970's...close to 350 members!

I have been up there since then & it has changed so much! My wish, for the children of that area now, is to experience the same fun times I had when I was a child growing up in this area. I had so many good times back then. The Canals...Such fresh, clean Water!  They are gone sad.  More to come...
Sincerely, A Great Conservationist - 
Cicalesed   June 6, 2008

loved ur website....especially the bertrand island part....grew up in the area and went to the park every summer as a kid.....i worked at bertrand island 1977-1980....responsible for the cash room under owners gabby and jack richards.....also owned a game stand there for season 1979.... my formal wedding took place at the park on july 19th 1980....we have a wedding portrait taken on the original carousel....and bridal party pixs taken in the old fudge shop outside the main park office....of course the celebrating was cut short by a typical saturday
nite bomb threat about 10 we had to rudely ask our guests to leave....not being able to tell them why....but that was the procedure back then....evacuate the park with no explanation so as not to cause a 
thanks for sharing ur site with everyone....kenneth & zoya martin   May 5, 2008

Letters from 2008 in Orange Box above

Letters from 2007 - Brown Box
The most recent "letters" appear at the top

I grew up in shore hills, on Cole place, across the street from the duck pond. I was always the first one on the ice to see if it was safe to skate on, and I never once fell through !I couldn't wait to go skating and play hockey.
I remember skaters always coming knocking on my door asking to use the bathroom, and the Christmas tree bonfires on the ice after Christmas and the cars sliding down Rogers drive on snowy days. I remember the day Gutweins store burned and old man pollard manning the gate at the shore hills beach in the summer. Karen Ann Quinlin lived right behind us. My best friend Bill had a boat at the shore hills beach that we would drive around the lake and to Bertrands Island. Another friend sue who lived on the lake had a snowmobile that we rode on the lake when it froze.
we rode dirt bikes down by the railroad tracks and went sleigh riding in the big hill on the side of Nixon school . Landing was a perfect place to grow up , I moved away 20 years ago and now live in the Seattle area . 
Jim - December, 17, 2007

Hi Ya'll
I have very fond memories of Lake Hopatcong. My Mother and Father would rent a summer cottage each year beginning in 1960's and every summer through the late 1970's.
We would come from West Orange at the end of each school year to retreat to the Lake. I was always very excited on the day we arrived (late June) and would jump into the Lake the very next morning at 8:30 (and the water was COLD! But I didn't care!) 
Mother enrolled all of us (my brothers and sister) on a swim team every summer...Maybe you've heard of it...The Vikings swim team of The North Jersey Regional Lake League!
Mother was a mentor, taxi cab and volunteered as a clerk and did many, many other things...and we swam! I learned to swim at Lake Hopatcong at age 5 and swam in this league until I was 18. And boy did we swim! The Viking Swim Team was renowned in those days...(1970's). Chabon's Tavern was our team sponsor. We we undefeated many seasons and our fiercest rival was Horseshoe Lake.  Mother also liked East Shores Estates. We had a membership there for many summers and I did lifeguard duty for two summers there.  Cicalesed - November 16, 2007

Great website - been a few months since I visited and so much has been added! In answer to the letter from Frances re: the Bertrand Island Carousel - I thought everyone knew the rumor that it went to Disneyworld, which it didn't. I learned from Carousel Trader magazine that it was sold to Circus World, also in Florida. I heard Circus World has closed, but don't know the fate of the carousel since then. Landing's a great place to live - I love being near the lake, and am fortunate to also work right across the street from the lake, with a lakeview from my office no less!  Roxbury's been giving us the short end of the stick for years - it's time to recognize Landing, instead of everything being "Suckasunny"!
Judi Darcy, Landing  November, 11, 2007

Recently I have been thinking more than ever of the place I grew up and call "home". I haven't used a computer for very long. When I saw I could look at maps, ect. I started looking at my home town and areas around it that I knew. One night I got a aerial map of Lake Hopatcong and took my time with the 'grab hand', going around every shore line and back to the start. Then I found your site and was thrilled ! How wonderful ! What memories !
I grew up in Ledgewood. I was born in 1951 to Madeline and William Golwick. My brother Bill was the oldest and then two sisters before me; Janet and Jo Ann. We lived at the last house on a dead end, single lane, dirt road, which turned in along side of Cliff's Ice Cream stand. It is Arlington Ave. There had been a house there, belonging to a Mrs. Hagen, at the start of our road as you turn off of Rt. 46. I used to sit on the log that was along the dirt road while waiting for the school bus. A little further in the road were a couple old houses and after that a barn. A family with two disabled daughters lived in the house with the barn. The girls were Sylvia and Farrell. While I was still very young, they left and the houses and barn sat vacant for years. To my dismay, I see by the maps that it's all car lots now. After that was Mrs. Cross's house, then Mr. and Mrs. Ficken's, later to become Mrs. O'Rourke's house. (I am not sure of the spelling of names) Next was my cousins', the Miklaws.
Then was Mrs. Lake's who boarded old men there. The garage after that belonged to Reg Waldron who's house sat slightly farther back and up hill, then was our house, the last one. All the homes were on the same side of the road. Looking at the map now, I see that after the car lots, the rest of the houses are still there and no others if the map is to date.
My cousin and I would ride our bikes in and out the road. We thought it was real daring to go as it was near dark. We would get up speed enough and then lift our feet and coast as fast as we could past that old barn. We would imagine that it was haunted and didn't want anything to grab or feet as we passed !
We were so fortunate to not be living crowded in some housing development. I used to spend hours and hours out doors and walking in the woods. We would go down paths to the swamp and get to the crystal clear spring water. What fun to catch the red and black spotted salamanders ! We picked water cress. I would think about the stories I heard about gypsies that came to the area when my Mom was young. They claim one of their covered wagons went through the swamp area to never be seen again. There was supposed to be quick sand in places.

Above our house was a dirt trail passing a couple frog ponds, were we would catch tad poles. Going down the trail would pass some city people's summer cottage that was always boarded up and seemed mysterious and intriguing Past that, we would come to the end where it joined on to Orben Drive. Now it looks like a business there. My Aunt Barbara Hess had lived in the big white house for a while. Below that, where the road joined onto Rt. 46 was a brown house where they sold fishing bait. But going up the other way, the road used to cross over the railroad tracks, on a wooden bridge. We could continue across and walk up to Lake Rogerine. Or turn left and down and get onto Shippenport Road. That's where the Canfields lived. Part way up Shippenport Rd was a dirt road off to the right that led us to the home of the Brown's. My brother Bill was friends with a guy named Sluggo Brown. If we continued on a trail, we could be out onto another part of Orben Drive again. There was a family up there named Doors, by Lake Rogerine.

Hours were spent along the railroad tracks looking for fossils ( which as a kid, I hoped to find a great scientific discovery! ) We put pennies on the rails to get them flattened by trains. I used to wonder if it would make the train wreck and we'd be in big trouble. Nowadays you pay a machine to flatten them and stamp something on them.
I also remember when Rt. 80 was first starting to be built. My cousin Bobby and I would go and get up on a high place to watch the machinery working. We would go swimming at the 'Basin' and a couple other places around Ledgewood, Kenvil and of course, at Lake Hopatcong. And up at 'The Fountain'. At the time, I didn't think too much about water moccasins at the sand pits or the other snakes when jumping in piles of autumn leaves. We'd walk all over the place in those days. We'd walk miles. I thought about that when I read Craig Canfield's letter. I am sure Craig wouldn't even know who I am. I doubt that any one remembers me. But I went to school with and was friends with his sister Dianne. Craig, I remember when I was at your house on Shippenport Rd. that I tired to give your little sister, Debbie, a ride on my shoulders. But she kept leaning and we fell. I felt real bad. Then one time some of you boys were trying to see who could press 100 lbs. You were looking around for something that weighed that much then found out I did. But I found it too hard to stay perfectly straight in a laying position, without moving while you guys tried to lift me over your heads.
Of course I went to the store in Landing. In my mind I can picture the end of the lake there. My dad had a boat and fished the lake all the time. He has a record with the Knee-Deep Fishing Club. He caught so many fish that Mom was sick and tired of them. I went to kindergarten and 1st grade at the Port Morris school. They had an entrance on both sides; one was the girls' side and one was the boys' side. And we usually had to use separate playground equipment. One day a boy named Frankie Geinstymer was mad because I didn't want him to kiss me after he was bold enough to run through the girls' entrance.. So he stabbed my shoulder with his pencil. I can still faintly see the black mark. The lunch room was down stairs and I remember the teacher trying to teach us to eat properly. When we had soup, she said to dip our spoons away from us...." Little ship way out at sea, dip your spoon away from me..."  Isn't it funny what things stick in your mind ?

The next year was school in the brand new one story bldg. in Succasunna, and afterwards to the ones on Hillside Ave.
I remember Mrs. Abrams. She lived near us in the area next to what we called 'the field.' (now I see it's called Manor Place or something like that. She was always kind to me. And who could forget the teacher "Beaky-Barlow" (I hated Social Studies) and her husband who was my bus driver for a long time. Later was Mr. Jager who always read to us. The only friend I had from those days that ever kept in touch was Joanne Tourinsky. She and I still stay in touch and email, now. There was Toni Rocco....I was at her house and their horse stepped on my foot. I didn't know which was worst, that or when her one brother stepped on it, too. Was it Lewis or Ralph...? Even though I wasn't very out going, I always wondered what became of every one and remember some names; Lee Lee Santello, Kirk Sellers, Eugene Drake, Janet Brown, Amy Doyle, Suzanne Oston....

In teen years were rides around the lake on a summer's evening, in a convertible, listening to the 'oldies' when they were still 'newies'. Guys bragging about their cars, '56 Chevys and '55 Fords weren't old then. Now they are and so are we.
We were poor but didn't know it. We always had plenty to eat. We had something what lots of people don't today. You who wrote to this site know what I mean. It will always be part of us. I hope that I someday can go back and see the old places. I know much is different and would make me sad to see the change. What means the most is gone. I would probably cry some and wonder why I came. I still would like to, though. But I'll always have the memories: The wild honey suckle and jack-in-the-pulpits, 'lightening bugs (fireflies) and may flowers and red cardinals; laying on a carpet of moss and looking up into the trees and seeing the sun filter through the leaves while feeling the warmth; the slight rustle of them seemed to say that all is alive ! Summer rains and standing under the rain gutter in a bathing suit; the fresh smell and intensity of green leaves and colors after the rain was done and when the sun was out; getting an ice cream from Cliff's. Or having a nickel and able to get a whole bag of candy at Emman's store or at King's store. Orange soda pop at King's and sitting on the porch. Memories of the woods and autumn leaves, huge oak trees and acorns; pathways all over. Walking along parts of the old canal. Winter was sleigh riding all day till I practically froze. Praying for the deep snows that would close school ! :) Tunnels under the snow, and forts. Nickel Night at Bertrand Island. The Ledgewood Drive-in Theater and Dollar a Car load nights. Getting the handpump inside of the house later replaced with an actual faucet ! Feeling excited when we finally got an indoor toilet and not having to go out in the dark to the outhouse ! Riding the public bus to Dover and watching hours of movies on a Saturday. Milk in glass bottles and delivered to the house; also a boy delivered eggs. Early memories of the old pot bellied coal stove; which later was replaced with a wood stove. The smell of slightly burnt pancakes cooking on it. Coming home late on a cold day to see the glow of light from the windows and feeling warm and safe and cozy to be home. Family. A time when hearts weren't burdened and didn't have the responsibilities of adult hood. Not having to lock doors all the time. We lived, not just 'survived'. Waking up excited to start a new day !
Now I live in Central Oregon, the opposite side of the country. But part of me is still there, along some pathway, kicking up the leaves and enjoying a time and a season that God gave me. I thank Him for it.
Francis ( Golwick ) Pradmore
P.O. Box 1675,  Prineville, Oregon 97754 the guy wondering about Tony's Atomic Hot Dogs. I don't really remember but it sure sounds familiar. I am asking my oldest sister about it. If she remembers, I will let you know.  I was told the carousel from Bertrand Island was taken to somewhere in Florida. Any one know about it ? I hope this web site continues ! ...thank you for it !
October 25, 2007

PS PS  I have to correct myself. When writing memories, I said going to King's store was one of them. When talking about the store I went to, someone had told me it was King's. But I talked with one of my sisters last night and realized it wasn't. Two old brothers had it but as she remembers, it was called "Silver Spark". Yes, that does sound right now that I think of it. It was on Main St. Ledgewood and I think she said it is now a photography store or something. Never the less, it was memories of a good time and when a nickel got you a lot. She also remembers Tony's Atomic Hot Dogs; "A loaf of bread, a yard of beef, and all the mustard you can eat !" I hope folks continue to write to this site. I keep watching it now !  Francis ( Golwick ) Pradmore   November 8, 2007

I would like to obtain some pictures of the old American Forcite plant in Landing. I am especially interested in any pictures of the site waterfront or near the lake.
Do any of these pictures exist from the 1880s-1920s? When did the plant open? When did it close? I know it was aquired by Atlas Powder who became Atlas Chemical and then aquired by ICI. I know Maxim sold inventions to duPont (presumably while working for American Forcite)....any details on these transactions?
The 1887 maps also show a DeCastro Chemical Co located next to Forcite. Is there any info on this company? What did they make? Related to American Forcite?
I also have some questions on Bertrand Island. I read somewhere that Carl Ernst Bertrand, a German sugar refiner, aquired the island from William Penn's secretary in 1780! This is not mentioned in the Kane book on you have information?  Any help would be greatly appreciated
Sincerely,  Gordon Ruhf  October 17, 2007    gordon_ruhf @
(Editor: Well, that makes two of us who'd like the answers to these questions, but alas I'm already over-committed to too many Boards and volunteer tasks, so the time to research is not there. Marty Kane and Rich Willis of the Lake Hopatcong Museum have more info on this than are in their books, so take them out to lunch and press them for an expanded edition !)

Hi! Thanks for your wonderful site about the park.  We had (and still have) a house right across the street from the park (on the water).  It was (and still is) our summer house.  I spent all the summers of my youth at the park with my friends. You brought back a lot of neat memories for me.  One of the neatest things I remember about those days, is that twice a week, I think it was Tues and Thurs nites.......they had "nickle nites" and all the rides were a nickle! We used to bring all the change we could dig up and get in line!  It was so much fun. I am sooo sorry they removed the park.  Now they put unsightly condos there in its' place!  Those were the days, all right!
Sorry I don't have any pics to add to your site. They didn't take many pics back then like they do now, unfortunately.
Thanks again!  Ro Webb (formerly Autorino)  August 19, 2007

You are about to enter Lake Hopatcong era 1950s, by someone who lived it! It haunts me in my dreams, to this day. My family was one of the crop of Brooklyn Jews, who owned a summer home there. The era of tourists and hotels. About 7 years ago I was able to find the street and house where we lived. Talk about" Back to the future"!!!. I was able to go inside our little house, which was for sale. Some things still existed from our ownership. I was overwhelmed with memories and emotions of the young child who loved it there. I vividly recall boating with my grandfather to Landing to get groceries. I was  depressed by how it grew and changed. Developments and wide roads,etc. Others in my family have also returned to look. Our names still exist in the cement of the walkway to our house. My memories are of a simpler time in society. The milkman, the Edsels, the miniature golf, all become alive in my head. It would be nice to hear the memories of those who also experienced the paradise away from the sweltering city. Where we lived was named "Davis Cove". Elba and Kings Highway were the roads. The  loss of our summer home (sold when my grandparents relocated to Florida) was a very big mistake. We long to return. Reality, of course states that it would never be the same. I am now a 57 year old grandmother with stories to tell. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, I would be thrilled since I have not been able to locate any pictures or photos of Davis Cove/Elba Ave on any website.
Miamio July 7, 2007

First I would like to thank you for your website. I was thrilled someone would give Landing some credit. I grew up in Landing, I love Landing, and I still love to visit Landing when I’m in New Jersey (although it’s changed somewhat). I resided on Main Road in Landing, and then we moved to Shippenport Road in Landing. I know that Shore Hills is considered Landing but I can tell you we were two different communities. Yes Shore Hills had the beach, the ball field and the basketball courts. Our place to swim was off the docks in Landing. We played football in the parking lot of the train station because that’s all we had. We played baseball in a dirt lot adjacent to the parking lot because that’s all we had. I remember a group of us kids walked all the way to Succasunna to see the Mayor of Roxbury, who was then Gordon Endean. We wanted to see if the township could give us a ball field to play sports on. The only thing we got was a glass of iced tea from the mayor’s wife. Our idea of a good time was to play mumbly peg on the docks where we swam. Mumbly peg was a game you played with a jack knife where you were required to do different tasks. If you failed you had to do it over plus there was a stick about 3 inches long which you had to hit once with the handle of the knife. And sometimes that stick was driven in the ground. The loser had to pick it out with their teeth. Our other form of enjoyment was to stand on the corner outside the supermarket and watch the cars go by.

If you lived in Landing the railroad tracks became part of your life. We had paths through the woods we used as shortcuts to the tracks to go from one place to another. We used to walk on the rails for miles just to see who would fall off first. But the people who lived in Landing were a close knit group.
We were not rich in material things, but the bond between us was priceless. My family the Canfields had relatives all located in Landing. My Dad who worked for the railroad was called the Shippenport Hillbilly because he would go out and sing in different bars in the area. I followed in his footsteps and played in a country western band for many years at Tierney’s corner in Jefferson using the name “The Cross Tie Walkers for the band”. I still play every now and then and the band was named by me.......Shippenport. Yes I have a lot of good memories about Landing New Jersey, and there were some bad ones. But Landing will always be a part of me. And if I had my life to live all over again and had a choice of living anywhere there would only be one place where I would go..........Landing New Jersey.
Thank you.  Craig Canfield, Saylorsburg Pennsylvania.  June 30, 2007

Correct me if I am wrong, but when I was going to school in Port Morris in the 1930's, there was a grey (I think), large store, (to me) across the street from the school, which I think was Obdyke's. I remember the large house of the corner next to the store, which I thought was a mansion. It had large windows and I think a circular tower room on one corner. And on the other side of the street, a few houses up, was another large house with a tower room, and the minister of the church next to the school lived there. I was in kindergarden with the son, whose name was "Trail Heitzenwriter". I have
no idea how he spelled his name, and this was probably 1935 and he only was their for a year or two, my memory is probably way out in left field. I know I shared a table with him, Barbara Smith and Harold Force.
Back to the store. You were not allowed to go across the street to the store until you reached either a certain age or a certain grade. I do remember that, because the first time I was allowed to go, I bought a fountain pen. God knows where I got the money. It was might scarce in those days. Anyway, I loved that pen and wrote with it many times to the horror of my teacher. It left blots all over anything I wrote.
The building burned, I think, in the 1950's. Old people are shaky on dates and times, except for those old, cherished memories.  Port Morris school when I started there, was 8 grades. Later it became just 6 grades and you went to Roxbury for 7th and 8th, which was a culture shock, because in Port Morris we had reading, writing and arithmetic, only, as I remember. Quite a change when we got to Roxbury and had English, Geography, etc.
I do remember clearly most of the teachers. Mrs Pell, (who tried in vain to teach me arithmetic), Miss Flood, (who was beautiful, I thought), Miss Crater, my first teacher in kindergarten, Mrs. Davis, (strict, and very quick to use those double rulers), Miss Iliaf (no idea how to spell her name, but she transferred to Roxbury with the move) and Mr. Bell, the principal, who, when you got in trouble and had to stay after school, always gave you a page of arithmetic to do as punishment. Maybe this was only for me, because I was always so bad in that subject.
Well, a rather long letter, which just started with the Obdyke store question. Toes  June 16, 2007

PS On re-reading the letter (Ed. below) about the Obdykes, I see that the name of the store across from the School was Harding's. The store in "downtown Landing" was Obdykes, although I don't know if is the same family.

While checking out your website, a few names mentioned in one of "Toes" letters clicked in the recesses of my foggy brain. My Dad was a Landing Boy (Port Morris, Shippenport, also). I have a photograph (attached) of Pete Biter that Toes mentioned in e-mail of January 30, 2006. This was one of my grandmother's photos that came my way via an aunt (dad's sister). 

It was taken in 1944 - Pete Biter is on the left, my dad next to him, and Betty Sutton is with her back towards the camera. My dad is Don Brown. Story has it that Pete gave my dad his nickname - "Sluggo" - because he thought he looked like Sluggo in the "Nancy" comic strip! 

Two more photos - one is my dad and his sister, Audrey, playing hooky at the State Park, circa 1942-44, 

and another (at left) is of my dad and his youngest brother, David, taken on Shippenport Road, probably around 1954-55.

I do not know the name of the Hagen aunt, but I certainly recall hearing plenty of stories about the Hagen Boys (Billy, Bud and one more - can't recall the name, but his wife, Carol, had a dancing/twirling/acrobatic school in the VFW hall in Roxbury) and plenty of hi-jinks and pranks that my dad and his cronies pulled on each other and other unsuspecting innocents! One that I recall hearing about is another Charlie (not Walking Charlie). He lived by King's Highway in the early '60s, and had poor vision. This would probably not fly in today's politically correct times, but my father and his pals thought it would be hilarious to have Charlie direct traffic over by the bridge in Landing (this was before lights were installed there). They gave Charlie a whistle, and he had cars stopping and going, while not being able to see them! Luckily, no one was hurt! Other names that I remember hearing were Nate Granier, Bill Golwick, Mack Whittaker, Billy Fosbur. Billy and Mack played guitar, and my dad played the harmonica, so when they weren't out being bad-asses, they amused themselves by singing!

As an adult, my dad was a backhoe operator for William Auriemma. He was also a Fire Chief, Ambulance Captain, and a special officer for the Police Department in Hopatcong. He passed away in 1978...but I always enjoyed listening to him reminisce...and I still love to hear stories about those who lived in this area way back when!  (May 26, 2007)

We were just looking at your website and enjoying the photos and stories associated with them.  Our family also has its roots in Port Morris.  Our grandparents, John P. and Mary Obdyke moved to Port Morris in the late 1890's.  They lived on Main Street, across from the school.  John was a clerk and butcher at Harding's General Store on Center Street.  He was also on the Roxbury Twp. Board of Education, a member of the Port Morris Fire Department and Supertinendent of the Methodist church Sunday school.  John and Mary had three daughters - Helen (Butt), Inez (Cooke) and Myra (Brown).  Myra was our mother.  As a young woman in the early 1920's, Myra played piano for the silent movies at the old movie house  (that we now know became the site for Granato's Garage).   Inez was a clerk at the railroad yard and we remember as children she would take us to ride on the engines in the roundhouse.  Helen went to Normal School to become a teacher.
The Obdykes lived in Port Morris for close to 70 years.  We remember as children that "grandma" (Mary) would cook on a big cast iron cook stove - she made wonderful bread, processed the grapes from grapevines into jelly, jam and juice and we would have fresh eggs and chicken, as they had a chicken coop on the property. 
Janet (Brown) Boyle
Myra (Brown Rosselet) Culhane  -  April 29, 2007

What a wonderful website! Thank you so much! I had tears in my eyes as I was reading the letters on your website - I can't believe that after all these years, I finally found you!  Dale Bennett, you couldn't be more correct in saying that we should enjoy where we are because we might miss it when we're not there. The fondest memories of my life are from the wonderful years I spent living in Landing at the most beautiful lake! Although I now enjoy living near the beautiful and historic old town of Micanopy in north-central Florida, nothing can compare to the "good old days" at Lake Hopatcong! I wish I was there! 
My great-grandparents, Katie and John Meyer, built a "cottage" overlooking King Cove in the early 1900's. From the front porch, looking across beautiful King Cove, we had a good view of Bertrand's Island. Over the years, this delightful cottage was where my grandparents, Emma Meyer Thomas and Harry Thomas, brought their seven children each summer, and eventually their children brought children of their own. My mother was Emma and Harry's fifth child. In the 1920's and into the '30's, and probably in the 1910's, my grandfather worked in New York City, and came to Landing by train every Friday evening during the summer. My grandmother went by boat to pick him up at Landing. I have saved her last "Permit to Operate Power Boats", dated 1952 and stamped "F. Englebrecht, Inspector". The Englebrecht family had a summer home a few doors away from my grandparents. 
I had the privilege of growing up at the lake, as my mother and grandmother had. Six generations of our family have loved Landing, the lake, and King Cove. I believe my family knew every family in King Cove, and they all knew us. I see on the website that folks are calling it King's Cove now, but we were told that this was incorrect, since Mr. King didn't own the cove, it was named after him.
My uncle, Gordon Thomas, was for many years an officer of the King Cove Association. He was usually the treasurer, and most of the problems that the association ran into were directed to him. My family helped clear the land and construct the King Cove Community House, where we later enjoyed 4th of July picnics and other community celebrations for years. (I've heard that it's gone now, and houses have been built there.) My uncle Gordon, whom the family affectionately called Uncle Hoke, set off the 4th of July fireworks from a floating dock in the middle of King Cove every year for many years. Uncle Hoke was also one of the men who guarded the gate to King Cove one day per year in order to maintain the status of private property. 
When I was a child, the phone number at our cottage was Hopatcong 446. Water came from a well or the lake. We washed dishes on the back porch with water we drew from the well, and the outhouse was behind the house. We had box 89 at that beautiful old round post office. I remember special trips to "town" when my grandma would go to the general store which eventually became Emmett's market, and I would walk barefooted across the street to pick up the mail. Although we had keys, we really didn't need them since the postmaster knew everyone, and handed us our mail. When I walked back to the store to meet my Grandma, I was greeted by the pleasant coolness of the wood floors on bare feet, and the savory smell of the big pickle barrels at the back of the store. It would take a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dimmer lighting inside the Market. My grandmother knew just about everyone there, and they all knew our names. When we checked out, groceries were placed on the clean wood counters and moved forward by pulling the handle of a wooden U-shaped device. The clerk wrote the price of each item on a piece of brown paper and quickly announced the total. 
When I was in high school, my parents bought the Deli in Landing, and we lived for a year in the apartment above the store. The building was owned by Mr. Rock, who also owned Rocky's Boat Rentals across the street from the Deli. Rocky often came into our Deli for sandwiches for lunch. The Deli was next to the first barber shop in Landing, where Orlando did the haircuts. 
I believe it was 1957 when my parents, Kitty and Bob English, bought the tavern on Mt. Arlington Blvd., right across from where Mt. Arlington Blvd. forked off to the entrance to Bertrand's Island. They named the tavern English's Tap Room, and we moved into the house behind the tavern. There was a little stream and waterfall in the woods behind our house. In the winter, deer sometimes came to the back door of our house for a handout. I've heard that the woods there have given way to houses now, too. My parents made the tavern into a place where families felt welcome. My mother was a great cook, and the tavern became known for it's friendly atmosphere and good food. I cooked and waited on tables part-time while I was in Roxbury High School and later in college. Our tavern was robbed one night (I think it was in the fall of 1960 or '61). Roxbury Police did a stakeout the next day, waiting for the bad guys to return and pick up some loot they had stashed in the woods. We waited nervously all the next day, and finally, after dark, we heard gunshots. The police had wounded one of the robbers. They dropped the loot and escaped through the woods, leaving a trail of blood. The police kept the stashed cartons of whiskey as evidence. I still wonder what happened to that whiskey! 
I worked a couple of summers (1962 and 1963) as a waitress at the Yacht Club on Bertrand's Island while in college. Mr. Rudy Domnauer ran the kitchen there in the summer, and worked in the Waldorf Astoria when the Yacht Club was closed for the winter. When it was slow on Sunday afternoons, I could take a break and watch the sailboat races. My great grand uncle was one of the early commodores at the Yacht Club. 
As a young child, I'd have to be in bed around dark. My bed was on the second floor at the cottage, right under a window where I could peek out across the cove and watch the Bertrand Island roller coaster slowly clank up those huge old wooden mountains, and then hear people's screams as the roller coaster rushed down the other side. I loved falling asleep to the sounds of bells and laughter drifting across the water. When I was old enough to walk over there, I thought that nickel nights were about the closest possible thing to paradise! We'd beg nickels from my parents, aunts, and uncles, and walk over to the Island. I could spend hours riding the majestic steeds of the Merry-Go-Round, or pretending that the airplanes (later rockets) were the real thing! Skeeball was so much fun. Sometimes we'd walk to the Four Aces on Mt. Arlington Blvd. after an evening at Bertrand's Island. I can still remember smelling those French Fries as we walked through the parking lot. I had my first taste of pizza at the Four Aces. One winter, my friends and I climbed and slid over the icy roller coaster, and walked through the Lost River on the little concrete ledges. It was dark - part of the lost River was inside a building - and the narrow ledge had patches of ice. Good thing my mother never knew!
One winter night after a blizzard, my mother and I walked down the middle of Mt. Arlington Blvd. in the bitter cold, but we were bundled up and didn't mind. The snow was deep and there were no cars on the road. The power lines had been knocked down, but the snow sparkled brightly in the moonlight. So many memories that will always be in my heart! Like the way the lake was all silvery in the summer sun. How you could lie on the dock with the sun warming your back, and watch the sunfish guarding their nests in the clear water. The way the lake looked so dark and cloudy and forbidding as a thunderstorm was coming in. The beautiful sunsets over the cove. Building rafts from old inner tubes. Sailing our rafts to Bedbug island for a picnic. Skating, then getting warm by a fire built on the ice. Black ice! How strange it seemed to get dressed up for church on Sunday after spending a week in a bathing suit! 
My grandmother told a story about one night, after the park had closed for the season, when she was sitting on the front porch and saw a column of smoke rising from the park. She called authorities and the fire was put out. The owners of the park presented my grandmother with a beautiful purse in gratitude for her help. Although this happened before I was born, she treasured that purse for many years and still had it when I was a teenager. 
My grandmother had pictures of horses pulling ice-cutting devices on the lake. They looked almost like plows, with a big blade on the bottom. She also had pictures of the old ice house after it burned down, very similar to the one on your website. I still have a few of them. As a child, I could not understand how that building could burn down but the ice inside didn't melt. When we were kids, we used to walk through the woods or go by boat to explore the old ice house ruins. There were tons of broken tiles and other debris scattered throughout the woods. It was a great place to pick berries, if you didn't run into those unpleasant water moccasins. We had many pies and cakes made with those tasty wild berries. 
I remember Mrs. Apostolik, who owned the Hopatcong Breeze and wrote most of its articles, walking down the hill onto our back porch, calling "Hello, Em". Then my grandmother would pour some iced tea, and she and Mrs. A. would enjoy a long chat. My grandmother would tell her all of our family's doings, and all that was fit to be printed would appear in the next issue of the Hopatcong Breeze. As a successful businesswoman in the '40's and '50's, Mrs. A. was way ahead of her time. 
I went with my father to Arendasky's and Apostolik's, and fired a few shots at a moving figure of Adolf Hitler in the old Westmoreland. (This was the Westmoreland Restaurant, down the road from the old Westmoreland Hotel, Editor)
I noticed that someone mentioned walking Charlie. I remember him, too. My parents used to occasionally give him some food, for which he was always very grateful. I also remember Ms. Vail, who walked miles every day. She was a sweet white-haired lady who was easily in her seventies when I was a teenager, and I think everyone knew her, too. She lived on Vail Rd., so I assume it was named for her family. Vail Rd. was right at the edge of Shore Hills, before Shore Hills was built, and I think I remember hearing that her family owned a lot of the property that eventually became Shore Hills.
My family and I moved to Florida in 1970, and I have been back to the lake only once, in 1975. On your website, I see so many changes from the Landing I remember. I'm hoping to return in 2009, which will be the 50th anniversary of my class's graduation from Roxbury High School. I hope that someone will be so kind as to send me some information on a class reunion, if one is planned. Unfortunately, I've lost touch with people I went to school with. I'd love to hear from anyone who was in the class of '59, or anyone who remembers my parents and/or English's Tap Room. If anyone want to contact me, please email me at 
I know this letter is long - sorry! - I was so excited to find your website that I couldn't help myself! I have so many memories of the lake.
Thanks so much for your website and to all who shared their memories. Thank you, too, for giving me the opportunity to share a few of the things I remember about the Lake. 
Arlene English  (February 5, 2007)

I'm a Roxbury resident who works as a full time dispatcher for the Roxbury Police Department and am currently trying to gather information as well as photos of the Roxbury PD. I noticed that Lilo T. Cornine sent an e-mail to you back in 2004. Doubtful, but  do you have her e-mail address or any way of contacting her so I can get information, also anyone that might have information please have them e-mail me at  (January 31, 2007)
(Editor's note: Hello Sarge, and thanks for your service to our Community. Yes, we still have her e-mail stored as 0's and 1's and are sending it to you directly. How about it Roxbury, any photos of our Police Dept in action?? Historical remembrances, first person stories of your family being helped? Send to the address above)

Hello, Dale Bennett again from muggy, gray skied Florida . Actually, the gray skies today reminded of Shore Hills,,,, and the wishes of a young kid that the gray skies would drop 6 inches of snow! It's 64, so, not much chance for that wish. So that brings me to this. I spent 1000 hours skating on the duck pond. Little did I know at the age of 8-12 that I was hearing one of the most pleasant sounds that life would offer to me. Yet I hear it today still. 
Being totally alone on the pond at night while the snow was falling! I could hear every snowflake hit the trees, the ground, or the snowflake that fell before it! That was way before I even thought about recreational chemical experimentation, so I know it was real! Also, the smell of the fireplace smoke wandering in and out just added to the moment. So, do any of you Landingenese have a picture of the duck pond frozen over? With snow? Odds are that I won't be in the area ever again, but I'd like a picture! To all, Enjoy where you are. You may miss it when you're not there!! 
Later, D  (January 5, 2007) 
(Editor's note: Hello Dale, and thanks for your vivid account of winter on Duck Pond. With the unusually warm winter so far, the pond has not yet frozen over. How about it Shore Hills residents, do you have any winter photos of Duck Pond to share with our brother Dale, he's going through withdrawal !! What I can do for sure Dale is the next time the weather approximates your word picture, I'll go over there myself and take a photo of the Pond!)

Year 2007 in brown box above

Year 2007 in brown box above,  Year 2006 in blue box below

Letters from 2006 - Blue Box below

I really enjoyed your website about Betrands Island. I was fortunate enough to grow up there as a child. My parents, Bud and Joan Harper owned the Sightseeing Boats for many years. My aunt and uncle, The Wheatleys, had a few stands there too. I now reside in Florida but have so many wonderful memories of this great park. I am 40 years old and my parents are residing in Florida also. My folks operated the sightseeing boats, rowboats and paddleboats. It was so much fun. Thanks again for this neat website. 
Sincerely, Kim Harper VanGorp  (November 29, 2006)

I was really excited to have found this page. I lived on Bertrand Island during 1971-1973 although my family had always lived in the Landing/Mt. Arlington area. The actual photos of the park are wonderful. I had almost forgotten about the Fun House with the painted dragon. Thank you for having a great site up and running. I wish I had photos to share with you, but as unfortunate as time is with us, items get lost or destroyed.
Shirley  (October 26, 2006)

Read the letter from Susan Bigg and your comments regarding the round Post Office and the questions about the Supermarket and the Drug Store. Triggered my memory bank again.

We had Post Office Box 264 in that old Post Office for many years. Martin Mulvey was the first postmaster I remember, and later on Mrs. Abrams from Ledgewood held the post. We lived in "lower Landing", which was erroneously called Shippingport by the uptown folks. Sort of the "other side of the tracks". and was fighting words. Shippingport had a bad reputation from the old canal days when the saloons along Shippingport Road (which I believe was only a towpath then} gave the whole section a bad name. Anyway, back to the post office.

Ad soon as I got home for school I would run through a path from our house to the railroad tracks, walk up the deserted tracks that once ran from Landing to above Bertrand Island somewhere, probably Nolan's Point. I would walk through the Station parking lot and up the stairs to the Post Office and get the mail. When I got to High School, we had a fun school bus driver, (a very pretty blonde lady) who would let me stay on the bus past my stop and ride to Landing proper, where she would let me off at the Post Office and I would run in and get the mail while she turned the bus around and would pick me up on the way back and take me back to my stop. We were the last stop on her run.

As to the Supermarket, [that site] was originally a General store. (The Obdyke General Store/Landing Food Market stood there until a fire in 1947, then the Emmet Supermarket was built in 1950 - this info from Marty Kane)  I remember I bought my first comic book there for ten cents. Batman. Then I also remember the first issue of Life Magazine being purchased there. If I walked to the mail by road I would walk through the beautiful railroad station. The big thrill was walking across the bridge over the tracks and down the stairway (if we didn't slide down on the banister, which would put a nice layer of railroad dirt on your clothes, much to your mother's chagrin". Or a walk be the cars parked in the railroad parking lot from the "city folks" who summered at the lake and commuted to New York to work. Beautiful cars. I remember one with chrome tubes leading out from both sides of the motor.

Back to the General Store. In my teens a luncheonette was built on the side of the grocery store, run by the "Caging's". I don't remember the spelling of their name, but they had a beautiful blonde daughter. It was a soda shop, and I remember going with my prom date for an ice cream soda after the prom. I was too young to drive and anyway, nobody in that day and age had a car of their own. A much simpler time.

I think there was a fire in the general store, but I really am not clear about that, but I do remember the supermarket. And after I was grown and married I worked part time at the drug store (Clover Leaf Pharmacy). The druggist was Al.

I do remember Susan Bigg, as I used to visit at the Lake's and she lived right across the street, but I think she was only around 5 or 6 years old. Little blonde girl with two little pigtails of the sides with little ribbons. 
Well, I have taken a lot of time again, but it's so nice to remember!!
"Toes" (October 7, 2006) 
(Editor's note: Hello again Toes, and thanks much for the first-person account)

Dear Sir:
Just been to website, and enjoyed seeing Ole Bertrand Island park. My husband and I always brought the kids there, especially on "Nickle Nite".I have old movies of the "kids" riding the kiddie rides! My Mom loved taking the "boat ride around the lake. The huge merry-go-round and brass ring was a must and favorite of all the rides because we could ride as a family! Losing the "park" was like losing an old friend and now what were we going to do for the grandkids' entertainment? We lived at East Shore Estates, Lake Hopatcong, for forty five years before retiring to Pennsylvania. I remember my relatives taking the Public Service bus to the Park from Newark for one thrilling day. All the memories of the Park are forever in my heart and mind!
If I ever find those old movies, are you interested?  Have a nice day,
Regards, Connie Chew,  Clearwater, Florida  (September 22, 2006)
(Editor's note:  Thanks for writing Connie!  Yes, there are many people who would love to see those old home movies of the Kids at Bertrand Island Park. I've passed your name and contact info to my friend Marty Kane, he's the author of a book on the park and together with the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, put together a Video Tape about it several years back. He's on the lookout for new material for an updated video)

Hi again, I was looking at the recent pictures on your web site and Landing looks great!
I wrote to you recently (see below) regarding my family and our roots to Landing, NJ. 
My father, Frederick Leigh Bigg, moved to Kingsland Road when he was 12 years old from Jersey City. His family used to vacation at the bungalows at the end of Kingsland Road (used to be Kings Road) next to where the State Park is now. I have pictures of my grandfather, great-aunt, Jenny, and my father in front of the place. Anyway, when my father was 12 his mother and father rented a place in Kingland. He attended Roxbury, graduating in 1932. After my father married, he and my mom decided to come back and live at 101 Kingsland Road. (The log cabin that was built by Mr. King for his daughter, Louise. (Thus....Lake Louise which is next to that home). My sister, Janet and I grew up in that log cabin and have such fond memories of the road. There were so many great people in there then. It was a beautiful place to grow up. My sister graduated from Roxbury in 1957 and I graduated in 1966. 
Landing has changed alot in all those years. Bertrand Island was the place to father worked there as a teenager! I saw the picture of Emmets' Market. That was a biggie for Landing....a grocery store. I remember the old post the end of the bridge. Then there was the store that went in where Emmets used to be. I think it was owned by Nickels? I know my sister worked there for awhile, until someone bought a candy bar and it had worms in it!!
Arendasky's was there forever, plus the old Westmoreland.
In one of the letters posted it mentioned the closing off on Kingsland Road. I think maybe Kingsland was one of the first Associations in the area. They needed to close it off for one day a year to keep it private.
So, for anyone that remembers those days, I have a few names to throw out there....The Lafko's, Dr. & Mrs. Talmadge, Mr/Mrs. Richard Cooke, Mr/Mrs. Gardner, Aunt Jenny (Jane Calhoun), Walker (there are pictures of his gas station), and of course, Bigg. I would love hearing from anyone that remembers those times. Thanks. 
Susan Ottati (Bigg)  (September 21, 2006)   
(Editor's note:  Thanks for writing Susan, and thanks for writing twice! As you suggested, we've included your e-mail address so that people can contact you.  You'll be interested in looking at our sister website:  This site deals only with Roxbury Twp history and you'll want to head for the Roxbury High School Yearbook archive. We'll be adding more Yearbooks as we find them or scan those that are "loaned" to us. Another possibility is to scan your own RHS Yearbook and we'll post those images on their own pages, like you see already on the Roxbury site. Before you scan, contact us for "technical requirements". Do you have any vintage photos of Kingsland Road you could scan and send us? We would love to post them for all to see. You know things others (at least me) want to know: When did Emmets close? Where the Pharmacy and Grocery store separate? What did Arendasky's sell? When did it close? Did you actually use the old round Post Office? When did it close? What was in the area which now has the Shopping Center? Ok, Ok, so this stuff isn't earth-shattering, but what other website wants your Landing memories other than!!

THANK YOU FOR FOND MEMORIES.  DesotoJoe  (September 20, 2006)

Hi, I just found your web site and think it is great! My father moved to Kingsland Road when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Roxbury High School. After my sister and I were born, we moved back to Kingsland. She and I both graduated from R.H.S. Landing was the best place to grow up, so much so, that when my husband and I married we moved into Kingsland and raised our two children there. Both of them graduated from R.H.S. also! My husband and I are now in Florida, but I come back North a few times a year....especially to visit a friend who still lives on Kingsland Road. I walk the road with her, and we talk about old times! I grew up in Miss King's summer home...the one that her father built for her. It is in the Historic Registry in the library in Succasunna. Thanks for this site....I will come back often. There are so many great memories about Landing! 
Sincerely, Susan Ottati (Bigg)  (September 13, 2006)

HI,  I loved the page on Lake Hopatcong. I lived in Shore Hills from 1968-1976. I remember "Walking Charlie". He used to sit in my rock garden and eat his lunch. He thought it was really a pretty place. I graduated from Roxbury High School in 1969. I used to ice skate on the duck pond with my son and my daughter. I left Lake Hopatcong and moved to Phoenix, New Mexico and I am now in Wyoming. I have lost track of my friend "Mamie" Mary Anne Elsholtz. I also have lost track of Betty Anne and Charlie Bryant and Christine Coggin. It would be great if anyone could help me get in touch with them.
Teresa Gutwein. My e-mail is Bouiers @    (August 21, 2006)

Just went thru your great website again. Really enjoy it.
Well hello from Florida again. Coral Springs to be exact, We moved from 649 Henmar Dr (Shore Hills), after living there -- 4 years ago today. We miss you. We loved the 14 years we spent there. My youngest son was born there -He constantly reminds me what a great place it was Schools- MAPS- we knew the teachers there was one on one class sizes were small-people cared There was hills/change of seasons a beautiful lake etc. and for the most part great people I know things have gone up but down here after the last hurricane season you do not want to know.
My advise if anybody wants it - Landing is a great place to raise a family. It is family oriented. The schools (at least the ones we left behind) were great. Quality of life was great. Were there problems of course but few. Learn to really look at your surroundings. Wow I remember sunrises in Sept Oct when the sun would light up all the golden leaves. Sun rise after a snow fall. The tranquility cant be beat.
Getting in our Explorer putting it in 4 wheel drive after a snowfall and tooling around -that was fun-Sleigh riding /going to the lake frozen or liquid. Do we miss that, yes, we are 12 miles from the beach but it is not the same. Right before we left Landing some people we knew moved back from Florida to Landing-I thought they were crazy!!! I now understand. I enjoy your web site so much please keep it up. And "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES"
Roberto D. Goodbar  (August 7, 2006)

Hi, Discovered your site , Excellent ! , I spent most of my summer's at the Lake in the 50's/60's compliment's of my older sister. She purchased a summer bungalow on Lewis street at Nolan's Point , later converting it to a year round house, I remember helping with the project, but at least once a week we'd go to Bertrand's Island . I'd get a roll of dime's to spend at my whim ( A King's fortune at ten ) cotton candy, burger's and such . As the year's flew by as a teen I'd just about live at the Park, that's where the girl's were. Even in my thirty's I'd visit often, having owned several boat's in the 60's/70's/80's , I'd dock on the beach and walk around, the Park closed I believe in 1983?, I was at the Windlass one night in the summer of 1983, There were a few people at the bar we starting chatting, It turned out one of the Women was the daughter of the Park's owner , one thing led to another, we piled in my boat and went to the Park, I'd say about two in the morning, everyone being half blitzed of course, she turned on the power and we rode the rides. If I live to 100 I'll never forget that night, If she ever reads this letter , Thanks ! , In my box of childhood momentos I still have a brass ring I grabbed on the Carousel in the 50's , and a bunch of the arcade token's . I live in Las Vegas now, From my terrace I look directly on the Vegas Strip, but all the light's in Vegas aren't as bright as the memory of the string light bulb's in Bertrand's Island year's ago , I'd also like to Thank my sister Barbara Friend and her really nice husband Joe for the summer stay's and the memories , year's fly by , but the memories are vivid . Good luck. 
Bill in Las Vegas Nevada  (July 21, 2006)

Sirs: Out of curiosity I searched for Bertrand Island Amusement Park and am saddened to read of its demise on your website. Especially since it was replaced with sprawl. I grew up on Long Island (ergo, I hate sprawl), and each year the altar boys from my parish were treated to a trip to Bertrand Island. This was early '70s. Fond memories of those trips. If I encounter any photos of those times I will forward.  Charlie  (June 22, 2006)

Hello from the south. It was great to find this site. Kinda a blast from the past. I was born in 56 and spent my first 14 years mainly in the Lake Hopatcong area, (Shore Hills) primarily. What a different time it was back then. I remember that when I was 10-11 years old, my parents and other friends parents let us kids do much. Me and Jimmy Kelly took a few bike trips to Sparta. If my memory serves me it seems that was about 15 miles one way. Mom's would pack a lunch and say be home before dark! We could on the weekends go to a friends house and camp in the yard or sleep on the dock while acting like we were fishing. Having grown up in those days and reaching my age, I know the difference between the times. Back then it seemed that 98% of parents took care of all kids, not just their own. If it's 50% today we're doing good. 
I wondered about a few things lately. what ever happened to walking Charlie, and what was his story in the first place? Just a railroad bum? Do Ya'll still have hydroplane races on the lake in the summer? Is Gutwein's still there and do they still do doughnuts on the weekend mornings? Is the duckpond still just a lily pad with some water around it like when I left? does it still get cold enough there in the winter to have car races on the lake? I do remember seeing a car or 2 take a dive thru the ice back in the day, no one died, just got cold real quick! Again, good site, and thanks for the memories! Dale Bennett (June 20, 2006)
(Editor's note:  Thanks for writing Dale! Sadly, Gutwein's closed years ago, but many have fond memories of the store. Anna Gutwein died in 2004 at the age of 100. Duck Pond is a nice pond, much favored by Ducks and kids alike. While I've not seen car races on the Lake ice in recent years, you do see cars and small trucks out on the ice. Oh, and by the way, it's not too late for you to repent, turn from the sin of moving away, and return to the hollowed place of your birth)

I grew up in Stanhope (from 1945-1967.) As a teenager I delivered milk house to house for Port Murray Dairy out of Washington NJ. I still recall riding through Port Morris at 3 AM every morning to get to Hopatcong Heights. Most normal people were still in bed. Some of the old timers may remember our home deliveries in the yellow truck. The driver was Louis "Stretch" Terretta. We delivered to the Heights, River Styx and Mt. Arlington areas.
The pictures on your website brought back some fond memories. I'm now a teacher (ready to retire) and City Councilman in Elkins, West Virginia.
Rob Beckwith (June 7, 2006)

I just came across your great web site. My father, Joseph Maline was born in the house on 234 Center St., Port Morris in 1927. His mother was Teresa DeMarino and his father was Michael Maline (who died in 1929 I think in a sand pit accident in Kenvil along with another Port Morris resident, I think a Henderson). My dad's uncles and aunts were the DeMarinos, Louis, Roosevelt , Pat, Sylvia, Nancy, Nick. 

He worked for the DL&W, Erie Lackawanna and Conrail railroads as a freight agent, ticket agent and various other positions. He was a volunteer fireman with the Roxbury #2 in Port Morris. He used to fish with Vic Valentino, and knew most of the guys from Port Morris. He used to hunt small game. He got a puppy one time from Joe Perfetti, but the pup was gun shy, so he was our family pet. 

I was born in 1950 and grew up in Port Morris, until we moved away in 1964. 

It was great fun growing up during the 1950's and living in Port Morris, where just about everybody was related or knew everyone. I remember having coal delivered to our house, getting our first TV, and walking to Joe Perfetti's store and DeMarino store to get bread, candies, and papers, and I remember Till the milkman delivering milk right to our door and putting it in the milk box on the front porch. The kids would always ask him for a piece of ice! Fishing and swimming in the Musconetcong River in the back of the house and all the kids jumping off the dock into the Deep Hole. We would fish at the Fire Lane on opening day of fishing. I attended Port Morris school, then the Roosevelt School. Remember the barber shop next to the school. I remember getting our mail at the post office/house from Dot DeMarino, our box # was 93! We would go to Bertrand's Island especially on Nickel Nights. I remember going up to the Roundhouse to get water in milk cans whenever the well would run dry. I can remember when sometimes some of the hobos that rode the trains, would come to our house and knock on the door and my mom would give them something to eat. I remember the outhouse (which was used for storage then)! Trick or Treating on Halloween was always fun and safe. You knew and trusted everyone. It was just great fun being a kid back then. No computers, Ipods, cell phones, or CD's. We kids knew how to have fun and used our imagination. We had record players and old 45's! Played things like hopscotch and hide and seek. 

I really enjoyed all your old photos and stories, especially from Sal Valentino. He did a great job of recalling the good ole days. 

Two questions: I have a pin from my grandmother with the letters PMSC and the date '36 hanging from a chain off the letters. I think it stands for Port Morris Social Club 1936. But I can't find anything about such a group. I was wondering if she was a member in 1936 and if there were records or photos. Does anyone know if such a social club existed in 1936? 

Also, does anyone know anything about a sand pit accident in the Kenvil area during 1929 (I'm not sure of the name of the company), several people who lived in Port Morris and worked at the sand pit were suffocated in this accident. I cannot find anything about this accident either. 

You can e-mail me at 
I will be sure to check your site on a regular basis and travel down memory lane. 

Beverly Maline   (May 10, 2006)
(Editor's note:  Thanks for writing Beverly! The more we hear about Port Morris the more it's evident that this was a very close-knit community, where even if you weren't related to everyone, you felt like you were! Re the question on the Port Morris Social Club, we can tell you that like all small-town America from 1920 through the 60's, Clubs of all sorts were the fabric of the Community. There was the Port Morris Athletic Club, which Sal Valentino refers to on his page on our site. Re your question on the Kenvil accident, we can say that there were, and continue to be, several commercial sand and gravel pits in Kenvil. The major operator in 1929 was the Seguine-Bogert Co., which was eventually sold to Houdaille Materials Inc., which appears to continue in business. There is a history of the Kenvil Sand Industry in Volume One of the History of Roxbury Township, published by the Roxbury Township Historical Society.  As the archives of more and more Newspapers come on-line in searchable internet form, the sort of accident info you seek will be easily available. For now, here is an option: The main Newspapers in western Morris County in 1929 were the Dover Advance and the  Dover Iron Era. Eventually the 2 Newspapers merged under the Advance. The Dover NJ Library has an archive, according to the Morris County Library website, probably on microfilm. These papers frequently had reports of industrial accidents. Another possibility is to ask our readers if they had ever heard of this accident. We'll also ask our readers if they had heard of a "Port Morris Social Club".

I read the letters and they seem to be primarily from the 70's and 80's. I had written once before about old, old Landing and you printed it and requested more. I have started to write many times, but there are so many memories I wrote so much I cancelled the whole letter. Today, looking at the picture of Kingsland, I thought I would tell you my memories of long ago.

There used to be a small house on the left side of the lake in Landing, by what was a wooden ramp to launch boats and where I learned to swim. Sam MacElroy, was the gatekeeper for the Kingsland Association, (although there was never a gate). He was very strict about who entered on that dirt road.

There were some wonderful people living in Kingsland. I don't remember the name of the Hagen boys aunt who lived a few houses down the lane, but they used to let the local kids use their rowboat, and I spent many happy hours rowing around the lake, sometimes as far as Bertrand Island.

Further on, around the bend lived Pete Biter (not sure of the spelling of his name), who also used to let us use his rowboat, and swim off his dock. We were swimning there one day and I went into the outhouse (everybody had outhouses in those days), it was the 30's. Someone wedged a board against the door and they all left. I spent what seems like hours, in a hot, smelly, outhouse until Pete got home and let me out.

Further on was and is a beautiful home, lived in at that time by the Casey's. They had a daughter Jean, a very lovely girl. We all looked upon her as as you would a Katherine Hepburn. Lovely, untouchable and far above our station in life. 

When I was in my 20's I carpooled to Picatinny with Mack Lafko, who lived in that house. I learned to Waterski from their dock and almost wrecked his boat one day when instead of decreasing, I increased the speed and did a fast circle around the stumps that were all around what we called the "floating island" that was in the center of the lake at that point. Supposedly it was a bit of land that broke loose from the big lake and floated to that point before it hit shallow water and rooted.

Back to the old days. The Kingsland lane ended at The State Park and we would walk from Landing to the Park, entering in from the back way, without paying, although I really don't remember if they were charging admission at that time. It was a very different world then.  Enough for this time. 
"Toes" (January, 30, 2006) 
(Editor's note: Hello again Toes, you're the real Maven, you should be Editing this website instead of a "johnny-come-lately" like me!! Unlike yourself, most people in Landing are unaware of the many 'layers' of history that reside on Kingsland Rd. Some of the best images of Landing that appear on vintage postcards of 100 years ago were taken from that road. So again, I have just 3 requests: more, more, more !!) (PS: I trust that you've gotten over that 'Outhouse' incident)

I just ran into an old Landing native I grew up with on Ford Rd. He was telling me about this web site and my first thoughts were, what’s so special about Landing. After thinking about it, Landing really was a great place to grow up. There was a booming generation of teenage kids that grew up there in the 80’s. On Ford rd. alone there had to be over 20 kids all around the same age- Bob and Chrissy Bush, Bob and Stacey Sutter, Timmy and Tammy Holt, Gerald Nappy, George Whitman, Sean and Craig Campbell , Jeff Ackerman, Jeff Roush, Mike Drake, Frank Karovick, Brian and Stephanie Fasset, Tom Deboun, Tom McCabe, Kurt Holly, Frank Pavese, Joe and Kevin Daily, Katy Fryer, Tom and Jan Elbell, and Karen Costello. Seems like every house on the block. That is my Ford rd. shout out!!  With so many kids in Landing there was always a party going on somewhere. The best parties though were in the woods. Just about every weekend there would be cars up and down Salmon St. which was the entrance into the woods. The tricky part for Police was which path did everyone take? Soon those woods will be all gone. They are building houses all through there. I go 4wheeling back there time to time with friends and its just not the same. I still go out on the lake every summer boating and always enjoy running into people I know. Most of my great Landing memories involved Bill Ryder...a great personality who always made you laugh…will never forget you! R.I.P. 
Tim Holt  (January 10, 2006)

I have just gone through the site and share all the excitement of the others that have written in with the great memories of Landing and the Shore Hills area. What a great place as a young kid to be able to go down to the beach and swim for the day, get pizza across the street, go to Guttweins, and then to the field to play ball.. in the winter go to the "duck pond" ice skate/play hockey... ALL with out your parents!!! It was a wonderful and safe place to grow up!   
I lived on Rogers Drive just up from the ball field, my mother is still there and I get to come back often even though I am far in Michigan now. I miss water-skiing with friends (Kris Tweed, Denise and her Bother) (usually when we we're cutting school!) And yes, someone mentioned going down the hill with sleds at the Shore Hills Club and then when older with cars! And the parents were so good and had parties for kids at the club house, we all thought we were just too cool back then! 
I will never forget the times ( names are hard) but the gang that hung out at the field, you just "showed up" after school..  John Barberi - he taught me and so many how to play baseball... The Badells, The Ryder's, Erick Davodwich, Chris Merrit, Rick Foote,The Baird's, The Golbee's, The Tempia's (Kathy and Bro), The Winkler's, The Plog's, "the Landing Crew" so many kids that grew up 4-5 year age group .. it was alot of fun,  The parties up in the woods of landing,, 
Can't remember the development name where the little patch of woods along Mt Arlington Blvd.(before Nixon school) - someone had let us ride bikes through there .. our own lite motocross track! 
I Saw- Bob Sueter and Chris White wrote a note - not sure if you remember me, but Hello! 
Thank you- Jody McKay - Class of ' 90 Roxbury HS  (January 5, 2006)
(Editor's note:  Thanks for writing!  With all those last names you mentioned, people "Googling" their name will now find the website! Oh, and by the way Jody, in regard to your statement:  "usually when we were cutting school!", we've forwarded your letter to the Roxbury High School Attendance Office, expect to hear from them soon)

Year 2006 in blue box above,  Year 2005 in purple box below

Letters from the year 2005 - Purple Box

Dear Editor:
I just heard about this absolutely wonderful website yesterday and have since enjoyed hours browsing it and reliving many memories of my young teen-age years in Lake Hopatcong. A true blast from the past!

I lived on Ford Road in Shore Hills from 1957 to 1964. My parents moved from there in the early 1970s. I attended Roxbury High School and have many, many memories of that 'very uncomplicated and simple' time in my life. Things were easier then....weren't they??

Winter memories are intact of skating on 'the pond.' Cobb Hill 'on foot' (down the street from Ford Road) was an adventure during snow storms. I recall our parents referring to it as 'Cardiac Hill.' But I walked 'down' the hill and then 'up' the hill during my high school years and picked up the school bus in front of 'Gutweins' Market. My mother, Angie, worked part-time at Gutwein's market with Anna for a brief period. I believe that might have been 1957 thru 1958. I often walked to the Landing Post Office to pick up our mail....mail was not delivered in those days....maybe not even now! Of course, the wonderful summers at the Shore Hills Beach cannot be forgotten. I remember our wonderful 'lifeguard' who later married a beautiful girl named Lorie A. who was in my high school class & also lived in Shore Hills. They met at the beach where we would all gather by the lifeguard stand with our blankets, cocoa butter tanning lotion, and bathing caps. I remember having an enormous crush on 'Leon,' a handsome blond Adonis, whom I first met when he was tending the 'soda fountain' bar down the road from Gutweins. We also rode the school bus together. But he was older and had a girlfriend although he did walk me home from the school bus one cold winter evening! I wonder if the residents must still wear 'a badge'  to enter the beach. I remember Manny Selengut's beautiful home & grounds on the lake. If memory serves me, he was the 'building contractor' for Shore Hills. His son Steve went to school with us.

I recall 'old' Shippenport 'dirt' Road which now resembles one of our California freeways! Bertrand Island was alive and hopping during the summer and I loved going there during the late 50's. I went often with my boyfriend Dick and also my girlfriends 'Rosalie' and 'Glenda' who were neighbors on Ford Road. Their families hailed from New York, as we did, in the mid to late 50's. I wonder how everyone is and what paths their lives have taken.
Your website is absolutely wonderful, and to reiterate, has brought back many memories. My sister and I have lived in California now for decades as does our mother. We visited Lake Hopatcong in the mid 1980s with our children and spent hours trying to find our way around the lake 'without a map.' It was a virtual odyssey and to say we got lost is a gross understatement. We had dinner that day at a 'wonderful' Italian Restaurant somewhere on the lakefront. I'm visiting New York in December and plan to drive to the lake and have dinner at that wonderful 'lakefront' Italian Restaurant if I can ever find it. I cannot even remember the name of the restaurant. If anyone has an idea what restaurant I am referring to, please let me know :)
Thank you again for bringing back so many memories. I'll keep reading your letters and perhaps, someday, will come upon someone I spent time with at the Shore Hills Beach, or someone I walked along the 'gravel roads' to the school bus at 'Gutweins' with, or someone I went to Roxbury High School with, or someone I went to the Roxbury/Dover football games with, or someone I enjoyed a Malt with at the Landing Drug Store!
Laura (Cooky) Milanese  (October 30, 2005)
(Editor's note: Thanks for writing Cooky. You'll be interested in looking at our new sister website:  This site deals only with Roxbury Twp history and you'll want to head for the Roxbury High School Yearbook archive. We'll be adding more Yearbooks as we find them or scan those that are "loaned" to us. Do you have any photos of Gutweins you could scan and send us?)

Dear Editor,
I was amazed to see my beloved Lake looking from Landing to Woodport greeting me when arriving at your site. Great work!
You brought all the memories back. I was wondering if you would be interested in some history in terms of a letter and I also have published poetry and narratives one of which is entitled "The Lake". It is long and I don't know where you'd put it, but I believe it does justice to a night at the Lake, a small boy's quest for a big trout and Bertrand's Island.
I lived on Lakeside Blvd. up from Hudson Maxim's boathouse which I explored many times and dove off the towers. Lived at the lake from the third grade in 1951 until I entered Syracuse in 1962 and then visited my mother until 1970. Knew Manny Selengut and my stepfather was the Sussex County civil engineer and surveyor. I enjoyed seeing all of the lake, did all the work for Manny and Hopatcong Hills. Please let me know.
Thank you,
Bill Phillips  (August 18, 2005)
(Editor's note:  Thanks for writing Bill!  Yes, We would love to post your writing about the Lake. This is a Community website, we've already posted a couple of pages as well as photographs from readers, so schelp out the old photos & poetry and send them!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the photos of Bertrand Island at As a child in the 50s my parents used to take us there on Tuesday or Thursday evening when it was 5 cent night. My older sister loved the roller coaster but I was scared. It also ended by going through water. I liked the whip and Dodge-um cars and remember the attendant getting me unstuck as I was a lousy driver. I remember the name Boomerang but can't remember the ride.
We lived in Montclair and used to go to Palisades Park and Olympic Park in Irvington as well. But money was tight and 5 cent night was the best bargain of the summer. Its sad that all 3 parks are gone now.
When I have some time I'll go through my childhood pictures, but don't think that I have any from there. We used to go to the Lakes up on route 23 (I seem to remember the name, Revere Lake) and I have pictures from there and a picture of me and my cousins in front of Humpty-Dumpty sitting on a wall (before the fall). I know it was taken in Northern NJ but can't remember the name of the park.
I am a Jersey Girl, graduated from Clifton High School and Rutgers Newark and have lived and worked here all of my life.
Thanks for the memories.
Lois Wilkes  (August 14, 2005)

(Editor's note:  Good News Lois, and we're not talking Car Insurance here, one of our readers saw your letter and wrote: "The place she mentioned (with Humpty-Dumpty) is Fairytale Forest, Oakridge Rd., Oakridge, NJ and the park is still open") (Editors' Update: I recently drove past and there was a sign saying "For Lease" Nov. 2005)

Dear Editor, 
Just wanted to send out a quick thank you for your work with the site.  It's brought back some very fond memories.  I was born in 1972 in Landing and spent my first 20 years or so living on Ford Rd until my parents sold our house, which I'm still angry about by the way, while I was in the military in 1992.  I have some great memories of sleigh-riding down Cobb Rd as a kid, walking down to Lake's End Marina to go fishing and boating during the summer, and even rubber rafting the entire lake with friends of mine.  Anyway, I've always said that I will eventually live on Ford Rd again, and in my original house.  Since 1992 I lived mostly in Budd Lake and also spent a few years in LBI (Long Beach Island) while finishing college at Stockton State (AkA, Richard Stockton College of NJ).  I moved to FL in 2002 due to work relocation and I guess I never realized how much I miss the Landing area until I moved out of state.  Your site has certainly helped me to remember where my home really is.  Well, thanks again for your hard work.  If I come across any old photos worth posting I'll send them along.
Rob Sueter, Florida  (June 21, 2005)

To the Editor,
I too grew up in Shore Hills.  I have many fond memories of the parties at the club house, the fishing at the duck pond, and sleigh riding down all the hills, first sliding down the hills on the sleds, and as I got older, sliding down the hills in my car.....Growing up in this area could not be beat.  There were so many things for us kids to do.  Bertrand Island was THE place to go as a teen.  Sitting and listening to the bands, playing pinball in Pat's arcade and dancing in "The Cube".  My family still lives in the area, but I have moved to south Jersey, now enjoying the action down here.  Thanks for the memories. 
Susan Sulovski-Kuc     (April 18, 2005) 

Hi again!! it is Mid January and my family and I have just gone thru our third Christmas here in Coral Springs Fl. (15 miles NW of Ft. Lauderdale) - even though you guys are shivering in the dead of winter, we miss the scenery, decorations (lights on palm trees just don't cut it) etc of a Christmas in the northern climates. After nearly three years we sincerely miss our home on Henmar drive in the Shore Hills section of Landing.
For all that have heard that moving to Florida is great ---it's not, it is very expensive some examples:
Homeowners I pay +/- $2,600 year +$390 for flood insurance
Real Estate taxes are high
Auto Insurance (no tickets/accidents +20 years) a little higher than what I was paying in NJ
Schools -crowded -very crowded average class size at my son's middle school is 42.
Maintenance on homes believe it or not the heat -humidity really wreak havoc on homes here
Utility bills -avg electric in summer $275-$350 drops to +/-$180 with a/c off,  Water +/-$50 month
Let's not forget hurricanes.
And on and on. There was a myth about how much cheaper it was to live in Florida-and yes it is true we have no state income tax it is still expensive to be here.
The above is a reality check for those contemplating the move- I had no choice --I was transferred. Ok it isn't all bad the bad days are few and if we wanted to we could be on the beach 350 days a year. But there is a small town ambiance to Landing that we miss dearly. We have been back a few times and we have had a few Landing friends visit us here. We need to learn to appreciate where we are life is a trip enjoy the stops.
Keep up the fine work on the web site keep updating the pictures they bring back many memories. If anyone wants to contact me:   lookingfor4 @    (remove the spaces, an anti-spam trick)
I'm Robert Goodbar, formerly of 649 Henmar Dr.  (January 18, 2005)
(Editor's note: Thanks for writing again Robert. We recently added more "Fall Foliage" scenic photos on the Photo Archive page, a link is just under the top photo on the first page. As suggested, we've included your email address for others to contact you)

Subject: website
Just ran across your website. I grew up on Mt. Arlington Blvd, in one of those "S & S Construction" homes from 1966-1974, and my mother stayed there until the mid-80's. It is nice to know the history of the area I lived in, even though it is 30 years later. I recognize some of the names, like Selengut, worked for Mrs. a couple days as a youth on their lakefront property, and worked at Bertrands Island in high school during the summer months.
I really appreciate your efforts in doing this website. It's nice that I  can visit "home" without leaving my present home in Illinois. I miss Landing, and am very thankful for all the info.
Kevin Hardman   (January 13, 2005) 

Year 2005 in purple box above,  Year 2004 in orange box below

Letters from the Year 2004 - Orange Box
The most recent "letters" appear at the top

I'm 18 years old and live in Port Morris. I'm currently a student at Roxbury high school and also attend Morris County Votech. I'm in the art programs at the high school and Votech. Me and my younger sister Jennifer (who is also into art) were wondering if there's anywhere around where we can do an art mural for the town. I think this will be an awesome idea! Please contact me at . . . .
By the way my name is Tina  (December 21, 2004)
(Editor's reply:  Hello Tina,
There are several organizations and people around town who can probably put things together to make your idea happen. First, contact the "ART ASSOCIATION IN ROXBURY" at 973-584-1185.
This group of local artists would probably welcome the idea of encouraging a young artist.
Second, contact the ROXBURY RECREATION & PARKS DEPT at 973-448-2015. They manage several public buildings that could probably use some brightening up with a wall mural. We think it would awesome to see your work around town!) 

Dear Sir:
I was a resident of Wills Road in Shore Hills from 1966 to 1983.  My husband was Marshall Cornine, who used to be Chief of the Roxbury Township Police Department.  We retired to Florida, and I've been here 2l years, but still consider Landing home. All our children graduated from Roxbury H.S. We loved the Shore Hills Beach.  It's nice to see that there is that lovely playground below the Club House. I have just one suggestion to make, it would be nice to see a piece about the Roxbury P.D. in the history of Landing.  
I know that I will be checking the site quite a bit. Thank you for bringing a little bit of home down to me.
Lilo T. Cornine   (December 20, 2004) 

Dear Editor,
I am a homeowner of one of the townhouses on the Bertrand Island. To wake-up every day and look out over the lake is similar to living in a resort. My townhouse is located where the sight-seeing boats would launch from to tour the lake. This tour is still active from the Jefferson House Restaurant.
The park closed and this site was vacant for quite some time before a local builder decide to construct homes. I lived in Lake Parsippany, as a family we would come here to the Lake and spend the day on our boat.  In 1968, we moved to Kenvil where my family still lives. I  went to Roxbury High School and remember the summer that we would spend here day and night just hanging out.  Cutting classes and water skiing too. The Pavilion housed a few of the now top bands. Where else would you rather live than on a piece of history. The Park is gone but memories are still here. I enjoy sharing stories with the other homeowners about Bertrand Island Amusement Park.
Debe Callahan-D'Ambola   (October 18, 2004)
(Editor's note: Thanks for writing and sharing your memories, enjoy the view !) 

My Dad just sent me a link to your site and I've been stuck here for hours!! I grew up in the Shore Hills area at 48 Laurie Rd. Spent summers on the beach or fishing the docks or Duck Pond ( I don't know what the real name is) and winters skating on the same pond. I remember Easter Egg hunts at the Country Club and one spring having a huge clean up weekend , painting the walls and sowing grass seeds. I was born in 1964 and our family moved in 1973 to W.Va. Now I live in San Diego CA. The first time I went back as an adult the Bertrand's Island attractions were still there, not running, that must have been in 1991. Sadly a few years ago I brought my children there and the condos were (going) up. Too bad. Thanks for the memories and the history lesson, I can almost smell the lake now.
Raymond Krautheim  (August 3, 2004)
(Editor's note: Thanks for sharing your memories with us Raymond. Some things don't change: there is still an Easter Egg Hunt as well as an annual clean-up day at the Shore Hills Country Club, and that small pond off Rogers Drive, unnamed on maps, is still usually called 'Duck Pond'.) 

I was born in Landing in 1928 and lived there until 1952. My uncle, Michael Holley, worked at Bertrand Island for many, many years. He forbade us to ride the roller coaster, said it was unsafe, (we did anyway). Your pictures of The Whip brought back the first time I rode it when I was probably 5 or 6 years old, squeezed between my mother and my aunt. What a thrill. When I was a child Landing was such a different place. No Shore Hills. We used to crawl under the fence and wander through the old Atlas powder property where my grandfather worked for many years. Climbed up the inside of the smokestack that still stood on the ruin of the old ice house. My mother's brother William, fell through the ice in 1915, walking home across the lake from his girl's house, and was drowned. They had been cutting ice for the icehouse and the lake had not completely frozen. My grandfather, Samuel Holley was Police Chief in Mt Arlington and shot a man who was robbing a house, which was later Twin Castle. Oh, so many memories and stories. I love your web site.
"Toes"  (August 2, 2004)
(Editor's note: What great stories !  As a result, I have 3 requests: MORE!,  MORE!, MORE!) 

Hi, My friend just sent me the link (to this website) and I have spent all morning reading it cover to cover. It brings back great memories as grew up in Shore Hills. My family moved from the Bronx in 1965 to Edith Road, we were actually the first house that was built on Edith (502). Growing up I delivered newspapers for the Daily Advance and spent many afternoons going up and down all those hills. I Spent the summers at the Shore Hills Beach Club. I also worked at Bertrand's Island, I used to walk from Edith Rd to the Island every day in the summer, I use to cut through Kings Cove. I worked on the ride where your drove the gasoline powered cars around the track; I was  the guy at the end that had to jump on the side of the car and pull the hand brake that was on the outside of the car, it was lot's of fun. After High School I lived in several places in NJ and NY, I recently purchase a house in Kings Cove on the lake and I love it. I feel like I'm back at home, the only disappointment is if it was 30 years ago I would be looking out at the roller coaster now I get to look at those ugly condos. I worked in Advertising as a Media Director so if there is anything that I can do to help the site please let me know, 
Sincerely, Kevin Coogan. 
PS Thanks again for the memories, life was so fun and easier in the old days!!!
July 21, 2004
(Editor's note: Thanks for sharing your memories with us Kevin. As for our many readers who live in those condos that Kevin, . . . ahem, . . . mentioned, he really didn't mean that crack about them being ugly, he's still under the influence of all those Gasoline fumes from that Bertrand Island ride he operated. Well, maybe not. How about it Condo owners, be true to your development and write in to tell us how jealous the rest of us should be) 

Your website is wonderful!
I grew up in New Jersey (Milton) and have great memories of Bertrand's Island.  My Dad had a boat on Lake Hopatcong from '55 to '60.  In 1966, I left Jersey to move to Michigan to work for Ford, and now live in Colorado, retired.  I was born in Dover in 1946 and went to school in Sparta.
I have some black 'n' white photos of myself and a little friend taken at Bertrand's Island in August of 1953 when we were 7 years old.  I have already scanned them.  Would you like to see them?  They have good
background shots of various places there.  Let me know; I'll be happy to email them to you.
Marianna Steel, Colorado
P.S.  My maiden name was Magliocchetti; most of my relatives lived in Dover, Wharton, Netcong.
June 17, 2004
(Editor's note: Thanks SO MUCH Marianna. Your photos were received and are now posted on the Bertrand Island page) 

My name is Chris White. I lived in Landing, 28 Cayuga Ave, since I was born in 1968. I left for the Marines in '87 and never went back. I now live in Florida and I was bored at work today and just put in to see what might or might not happen. Boy was I surprised when a web page came up. Let me tell you first, thanks for a great web site. What a pleasure it was to look at all the old photos and pictures. Made me home sick let me tell you. I haven't visited up there since '99. I really need to go back. The best was the Bertrand Island photos, I spent my YOUTH there growing up and picking up girls. 
Well, I suppose that is about it, you should have a part where you can register as a member or a guest list for the site. If there is such a thing I'd love to know about it, thanks again for the memories. 
Chris White   (June 4, 2004)
(Editor's note: Well Chris, surfing the 'net at work may not seem productive to your boss, but it produced great memories for you. The idea about a list sign-up is good, it can be used to alert folks to additions on the site. I'll work on it )  

Hi, This Saturday is the clean up at the park. Could you post something to remind the people of this so we can get a good turn out and clean up the park.
Thanks,  Kirk
P.S.  Great website    (April 27, 2004)

(Editor's note: Yes, we've been promoting the Shore Hills Park Clean-Up day for several weeks on our "Front Page", our thanks to all who organized this, especially the Roxbury Police Community Relations Squad) 

Hi, thanks for posting my letter (Ed: see Aug 19 post below) on your web site. I go thru the site every so often. I realize that it is a labor of love on your part, but I would love to see different pictures of all the beauty that surrounds Landing.  One thing that is obvious is the nostalgia that oozes from the letters of the former residents-all have positive comments, all miss living there, as we do. (Ed: They lived on Henmar Dr)  How sad that as typical humans we only realize how well we had it when we do not have it anymore!!  Keep up the good work--Maybe as an Idea: Put us former Landing people living in different states now in touch with each other, a kind of pen pal posting.  I would love to hear from former residents --enjoy your work very much, as for myself, I'm  Robert Goodbar     e-mail:    (April 16, 2004)
(Editor's note: Thanks so much for writing again Robert, and thanks for your kind words about the site. We do have plans to post more scenic photos, the spring season has finally burst upon the Jersey highlands, trees are in bloom, and I need to load the 'ole Pentax 35mm and the new Digital and record some Kodak moments. As suggested, we've included your email address for others to contact you. How about it, Henmar Dr residents ?) 

Dear Editor,
April 20th is the voting day for three positions on the Roxbury Board of Education and approval on the school budget. I would urge everyone to vote. This election is important for the Roxbury School system if you want to see a change in the way the administration is run. A change is necessary. Laws were broken!

NJ SA 9:6-1, NJSA 9:6-8,9, NJSA 9:6-821 NJSA 9:6-8.14 & NJSA 30:4c-12  are the laws that are designed to protect children from abuse and neglect. "Any person who knowingly fails to report child abuse and neglect, having a reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has been committed, is a disorderly person." It seems that the administration of the Roxbury School system ignored all state regulations relative to reporting a crime. This crime was committed against an innocent child.

The "old boy network" has been running our school system for years and if we don't act now another innocent child may suffer the consequence. The state department of education insisted that a corrective action plan be written. The administrators that are part of the "good old boy network" and involved in the initial cover up wrote the corrective action plan. How can this differ from the one that was in place and these individuals should have complied with? Here's another case of the blind leading the blind.

Ethics and confidentiality is no excuse for violation of New Jersey state laws. We must rid ourselves of the "good old boys" and start anew with new administrators and school board members. To move on with the present administrators and school board members is a violation of the rights of our children attending our school system supported by our tax dollars. When will the next violation be ignored and will it be your child whose rights have been violated?
I am willing to devote my time and attention to seeing a change made in our school system. Vote Kathryn McNear, Tuesday April 20th, Child advocate for change.
Sincerely,  Kathryn McNear, Landing, NJ  April 14, 2004
(Editor's note: The School Board vote takes place on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 from 2 PM thru 9 PM. In Landing, polling places are the Nixon School and the Port Morris Fire Station)  

What a Great Site!  I've visited your site numerous times and always meant to send a note complimenting you on the site's professionalism - all Landing and Roxbury residents should be very proud of your work. I was an EMT on Roxbury Co. 1 for about 15 years and maintained a web site called "On Emergency Medicine" for about three years...I know the work that goes into keeping a site fresh and current...I had more than 150 "hits" a day and finally had to give it up...just didn't have the time to keep everything up to date. At any rate, thanks for a great site!  Scott M.  April 1, 2004
(Editor's note: My humbleness is surpassed only by my commitment to honesty, and so, in the interest of honesty, I say: You're Right ! It is a "great site")  

Letters from 2004 in Orange Box above,
Letters from 2003 in Green Box below

Letters from the Year 2003 - Green Box
The most recent "letters" appear at the top

My father, who was born (I think) in Somerville NJ, in 1872, remembered that in his youth, he was night clerk at a resort on Lake Hopatcong. He said that Thomas Edison, who could not sleep at night, would come to the resort and that he and Mr. Edison would shoot billiards. My father's name was Rezeau B. Brown. Later in life he became president of the Milwaukee Gas Company. I have often wondered where Lake Hopatcong was and finally looked for it in an atlas and now on the web.
Barbara Brown,  November 15, 2003

(Editor's note: Thanks for your 'illuminating' story. Many well known people stayed at the Lake Hotels during the summer. Thomas Edison's company owned a mine in Jefferson Twp and a Concrete factory in Sussex County, so he would come up here to check his holdings and visit with his friend Hudson Maxim) 

Hi, I lived in Landing ( Shore Hills, Dell Road) for twelve years but moved to Florida in 1977, however I still miss Landing and my best friend still lives on Ford Road.  I enjoyed so much looking at the pictures, it was sort of going home for a few moments.  I will visit you site again.  Thanks.   
Joyce M.  November 12,  2003

I am a resident of Landing and I think your site is great. The only problem is, you still have Mr. Toohey as our high school principal.  Our new principal is Jeff Swanson. Thanks.  Laura C.  September 14, 2003
(Editors Response: Thanks for the info. I've just updated the Township page, so NOW Mr. Swanson can officially begin his duties)   

I just came across your web site. Thank you for creating and managing it.     
Richard Zoschak     September 4, 2003
(Editor's Response: And Thank You Mr. Councilman for Thanking us.) 

We lived in Landing for 13 years (Henmar Dr.) we are now Floridians (not retired--transferred). We miss Landing--- the small town ambiance --the small schools with the caring teachers --It is a GREAT place to live and raise kids. We always felt perfectly safe there. The views were spectacular. . . . We enjoyed living there very much and shall forever miss many of the things we took for granted there. I would recommend living in Landing to any person that cares to listen
Robert Goodbar  -  August 19, 2003 

Maybe you can help me. I moved to Landing in October, 2002. I would like to join the beach (Lake Shore Estates) on Mt. Arlington Blvd. near Rogers across from the K2 convenience store. Can you tell me who to get in touch with to get a membership for the season? I would really appreciate it. Please e-mail me back asap. Thanks.      Loretta S.     May 19, 2003
(Editor's Response: Done & Done)  

Was directed to this site by Mary Ritzer and find it's even nicer and more informative than she glowingly reported!  Will check our files to see if we have anything that can be added.  Nice design; my huzzahs!
Cecile Cole   May 15, 2003
(Editor's Response: For the curious, "Huzzah" is a older, 19th century American way of saying "Hooray, way to go", and should not be confused with the similar sounding "Hutzpah") 

Dear Editor,
Your statement (in the site) is partly correct:
-  "The Bertrand Island Amusement Park was located just one mile north of Landing, NJ on an arm of land that jutted out into Lake Hopatcong. This park was once one of New Jersey's most popular attractions. Built in the 1920's in Mount Arlington, NJ"   -
However part of Bertrand Island was in Roxbury Township. I know that the Scrambler and Roller Coaster were, I think, in that side of the park where you first came in was Roxbury and it hugged the road that went up to the upper parking lot. I know this as my Dad was a Roxbury Policeman and when ever a kid fell off the Roller Coaster it was in Roxbury and my Dad had to investigate. The same with when a kid flew out of the scrambler. Its a small matter and yes for the most part it was in Mt Arlington so really you are correct but I saw that corrections were welcome so I just thought I let you know what I remember my Dad telling me.
Sue Smith    May 5, 2003
(Editor's Response: Thanks so much Sue for this important bit of information)  

History is leaving!  Did you know in the late 1920's a group of men started a fire dept behind a general store on Center Street (Port Morris). Several years later, through donations and hard work a firehouse was built on Main Street. Today, this town feels it more important to have cherry trees at Horseshoe Lake than to sustain a piece of history. As I write this the town is making plans to discard this historical site for low income housing to satisfy their requirements and finance more cherry trees. Government is for the people, by the people--"right"   
RUCEO     March 26, 2003  

Love your site!  I lived off of Rogers Drive in the Shore Hills section of Landing from 1992 to 1995. I have since moved back to Illinois, but sincerely miss that area. For the last couple of years I would look for stuff about the Lake Hopatcong/Landing area on the web, but there wasn't much to look at. I found your site today, and I have to say that your site is well organized, full of information, and a pleasure to visit. Great work! Keep it up!
Jim Zale    March 25, 2003
(Editor's Response:  Hmm, you say our site is " ... well organized, full of information, and a pleasure to visit". Aw Shucks, you've twisted our arm, we'll have to agree) 

Dear Mottel:
My father, George Carey was raised at the Carey cottage. My grandfather, John Carey and his wife Mary Carey were the original owner/occupants of the Carey cottage.    Chris Carey     March 24, 2003  

Thank you for your site! My family lived in Landing from 1975-1998, on Mansel Drive. We now live in South Carolina -- quite a change. It was wonderful to view your site -- it brought back a lot of good memories! Thank you for the work you've done and for having the site!!!     Denise Patterson     February 5, 2003  

Man what a site, one of the best. I learned more about my hometown in an hour than I learned in 65 years, thanks,  Bob    Robert Neighmond   January 12, 2003
(Editor's Response: Thanks so much Robert. Check back from time to time, we update pages or add info & photos to the site almost every week)  

Dear Editor,
Great website! I was born in Shore Hills and lived there until '60...moved to Highland Estates in Succasunna until we moved to Maryland in '67. I remember walking a long ways from the middle of Rogers Dr. to the corner of Rogers Dr. and the Main road (leading to Bertrand Island) to catch the bus to Port Morris (Kindergarten) and then to St. Michaels in Netcong. What ever happened to the grocer, Gutwuiens (sp?) at the corner of Rogers Dr. and the entrance of Shore Hills beach ?
Skip Gormley   January 7, 2003
(Editor's Response: Thanks for writing Skip. The store you mentioned was called "Shore Hills Market", but was commonly known as Gutwein's, after the owners Vincent and Anna Gutwein. The market became a small 'IGA'  supermarket in the 1980's, that closed around 2000, the building was then divided in half, with the 'K2' Convenience store now occupying one half, the other half still vacant as of 2003)  

Letters from 2003 in Green Box above,
Letters from 2002 in Red Box below

Letters from the Year 2002 - Red Box
The most recent "letters" appear at the top

Dear Mottel,
I love the site! I know your wife from the Nixon PTA. I am a visiting nurse. I went to see a patient in Randolph who used to have a vacation home on Ann (or Anna) Street which is behind the K2. He told me some interesting history of the area. As you travel on Mount Arlington Blvd, from the direction of Nixon toward the K2, directly after the K2 there is what looks like a big cement wall. This is part of the foundation for the powder company buildings. When they went to build houses on the site they couldn't break the foundations, so they left them there.  Well to make a long story even longer, this patient was asking about any openings in the boat slips at the SHCC. (Shore Hills Country Club) I called Donna S -- , also from the Nixon PTA, and told her about the above information while getting the SHCC information for this patient. She reported that while digging footings for a deck he was adding to their house, her husband came upon these huge blocks of concrete in their backyard. They never knew what they were but with this knowledge she figures that they must have also been parts of these foundations. This patient also told me that he had a photo of some company workers standing in front of a powder company building that was the site of his former home. He has since lost that photo but Donna tells me that at the SHCC there is many old photos of the area.
Another area person to research if you haven't already is Manuel Selengut. He owned much of the Shore Hills area and sold it off bit by bit. I know he had partners. There is a tract of land 20 feet wide behind my home that is deeded to him. One day in 1991 I went to see him about purchasing it. He told me that he couldn't sell it because of some legal mumbo jumbo about a fire road. He also told me about the origins of some of the unusual street names. Mansel is named after him. MANuel SELengut. I'd imagine that Bensel and Davsel were named after family members also. Edith was the wife of one of his partners. (I live on Edith Road.) He has since passed away but I believe his son Stephen now occupies his office on Landing Road. He may have some information for you. Best of luck with the site! It's great. My son loved the information about "Hoppie."
Barbara Seckler    December 12, 2002
(Editor's Response: Thanks so much for your kind words. And thanks for the historical info, we've used it in the History and Photo pages. Regarding Hoppie, it's gratifying to see that he's finally starting to get the attention and admiration he deserves. Perhaps a Fan Club is next ?) hoppie-run-r.GIF (1299 bytes)

Thanks for the site. (Our Rotary) Club caters to Landing as well as Hopatcong and Mt Arlington. I liked your thoughts as to Landing's fair share and as a 40 year resident and past Chief of Roxbury Co... No. 2,  you have the right idea, we usually have to fight for it, and I have always done that. Our Rotary just had our annual Holiday party at the Days Inn to which we invite challenged kids from Nixon school, Hopatcong and Mt. Arlington Schools. They give Dictionary's to the 3rd grade kids and donate earned monies to many worthy causes in these area's. If I can offer you any help re the Rotary or Fire Co.,   please call anytime.
Thanks again ,  Tom Valiante.      December 11, 2002
(Editor's Response: Thanks to the Rotary Club for all the good you do!  Of course, we honor the Fire & Rescue Volunteers and have a page on this site as an accolade !!) 

Dear Editor:
First off, the site is awesome!!! My wife and I have lived in many towns in New Jersey and California, and it's nice to see such a quality site for our small town of Landing. It's really nicely done. My professional career is computer programming (banking, mostly) and in the past few years, I've gotten into web site development on my own time. I'm always discovering new tips/tidbits about the internet that I've distributed through my company. I don't know if you're planning on an "Internet Guide or Tips" type page, but I'd be more than happy to pass along any info I receive and you can decide what to do with it.
For example, I've been irritated when searching for information about "our" Landing, NJ because Mays Landing, NJ is a bit more popular. I've changed my search criteria to be: "Landing NJ -mays" (This works much better). Much fun and success with the site
Jason Thoma   
October 25, 2002  

I enjoyed my talk with you today. Just looked at the site, it looks great.
Richard Willis    (Editor: Rich is a noted Lake Hopatcong Historian & Author)   September 22, 2002

(Editor's Response: And Thank You Rich for your Book and articles on the Lake's history)

Some letters have been edited for length or spelling, on others I just left the misspelling in for added color. Enjoy. 

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