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Lake Hopatcong New Jersey Historical Memorabilia

From 1890 thru the 1970's thousands flocked to Lake Hopatcong for a summer get-away. Up thru the 1950's, the Lake was a major northeast resort, and even as year-round houses started to go up, there were still amusement parks such as Bertrand Island and attractions like the Hopatcong Bear Farm & Zoo. The "Zoo" was a private business, situated across the road from the entrance to Lake Hopatcong State Park, on land along the Musconetcong River, opposite today's New Life Church. Though closed since the 1970's, the Zoo is still fondly remembered by many local residents.

The souvenir postcard at left was a large 3-D Billboard that greeted people as they neared the Zoo. The scan above shows the text on the back of the postcard prepared for the 1962 season.

The large plot of ground that the Zoo stood on is empty today, it's flat acres alongside the Musconetcong River slowly returning to a wild state with many varieties of bushes and small trees, now a haven for animals of the free variety.




The two scans above show how the Hopatcong Bear Farm & Zoo postcards changed over the years.


These two felt banners were valued souvenirs, circa 1960

A local resident recalls the Zoo:
   Dear editor,
My mom, Gwen Bird Duda, worked at the Bear Farm Zoo in the early 1960s. I believe it was run by Ray and Louise Palmer who resided on the property. The couple were once entertainers. After the “zoo” closed, myself, my dad, my uncle, my sister and many area residents took music lessons in the mobile home on the property from the Palmers in the late 60s early 70s.
  Deborah Duda

These examples of souvenir rings, enameled with the logo of the Zoo, are collectibles today.

The enameled logo of the Zoo also came as a pin to be attached to a charm bracelet.


The small pocketknife at left were embossed
with the Zoo name and sold at the Gift Shop.


As times changed and Lake tourism declined, seasonal bungalows gave way to year round homes that had sprung up around
the Lake and the time period of the area as a Summer resort was over.

Some of the postcards here were loaned by the good folks at BAGELS ON THE HILL, Landing, NJ
Check out their store for a display of Lake Hopatcong historical photos, great Deli Sandwiches, and the best Bagels in northwest New Jersey !!

If you visited or worked at the Lake Hopatcong Bear Farm and Zoo, email us and write out your memories and we will publish them here. Let us know whether or not you want your name or just your initials revealed, or if it should be anonymous. Our email address is below.

If you know Landing history and can add to or correct this page,
you can e-mail the Editor at:   Editor  @  LandingNewJersey  .  com

(just remove the spaces, an anti-spam measure)

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