Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Local history

In addition to several collections, my husband and I love to collect local vintage memorabilia as well. I have always found it fascinating to know what used to be where in our town, no matter where I have lived I always wanted to know more about the town's past. I am now in Hopatcong, N.J. and for some inexpicable reason I am drawn to the Lackawanna Railroad and the Morris Canal, both of which used to pass through this once bustling resort town on the lake. The Lackawanna Railroad is now part of New Jersey Transit which I ride regularly, I like to imagine what it was like a hundred years ago on that same train line when tourists used to be dropped off not only at the station (this was when the Canal also ran next to the tracks)-

But the stops that were in the middle of the woods with little dirt paths that led to a fine hotel or a small inn.

Our museum is filled with lots of old photos and stories, a lot of the grand houses and hotels burned down, unfortunately. And the Depression saw a major decline in this area as a resort hotspot. We even had an 18 hole golf course which was reduced to a 9 hole course and now is gone.

The 1980's saw the closure of an amusement park here on Bertrand Island, progress, it is now filled with condos.

Many of our local eateries have the walls filled with wonderful old photos of this area as well.

I love being able to acquire postcards of the past from here, I am not the only one because I often get in bidding wars on eBay for certain cards. It took me a few years to acquire the coveted original train station as well as the Breslin Hotel. I missed out on a few last week but I will keep checking back.