ROXBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Morris County Commissioners, county preservation officials, state and local leaders and the New Jersey Preservation Trust joined the Lake Hopatcong Foundation at a plaque dedication ceremony Wednesday at the historic Lake Hopatcong Train Station.
The group gathered to recognize the many efforts and grants provided over the years to preserve the historic site.
“This station was constructed in 1911. It is 110 years old, and if you had been here and met a veteran back then, there was a good chance he had served in the Civil War,” said Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw. “World War I was three years in the future, that’s how old this building is. And the year this building opened, the New York Public Library also opened. Henry Ford hadn’t started his assembly line yet. That helps me keep in perspective how old this building is.”
Shaw and Commissioner John Krickus presented a bronze plaque to be affixed to the building, noting a total of $1,129,143 in funding has been provided through the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund for preservation work on the station. The first Morris County grant was issued in 2015 grant to assist in its acquisition.
The Preserve New Jersey Historic Trust also provided a $150,000 grant in 2016 and a recent grant of $254,879, which the trust fund’s Executive Director Dorothy Guzzo and Principal Historic Preservation Specialist Glenn Ceponis ceremonially delivered with a giant check during today’s ceremony.
“With your support, we have been able to breathe new life into this historic building and have created a space for the community to connect around New Jersey’s largest lake,” said Kyle Richter, Executive Director of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, which occupies the station. “Your continued support has allowed us to enter into the final phase of rehabilitation of the Lake Hopatcong Station, allowing for restoration of the exterior of the building.”
State Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Aura Dunn joined the ceremony, along with Roxbury Mayor Robert DeFillippo, Sussex County Administrator Gregory Poff II, Assistant Morris County Administrator Deena Leary and Lake Hopatcong Foundation Chairman Marty Kane.
Also in attendance were Joseph Barilla, Director of the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation, Ray Chang, Morris County’s Historic Preservation Program and members and staff with the Preserve New Jersey Historic Trust, including Board Secretary Peter Lindsay and Board Member Lisa Easton.
Constructed in 1911, the Lake Hopatcong Station was unique in several ways. It connected rail passengers to the many summer resorts, hotels, camping and cottages around the lake every summer. Visitors would step off the train to jump aboard one of the Lake Hopatcong Steamboat Company boats, access the lake via the Morris Canal nearby, or they would board the Morris County Traction Company trolley in front of the station to reach Bertram Island.
The station was part of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and the Lackawanna Cutoff project. It was constructed in what is known as a “Tudor Revival/ Jacobethan” style building, similar to a sister station in Mountain Lakes, using stone rubble materials with detailing of concrete and glazed terra cotta. Inside are a ticket office, main hall and luggage room.
A significant part of Morris County’s funding included replacement of its unique roof of green glazed clay tiles from Lodowici Roof Tiles, the same Ohio-based company that supplied the building’s original tiles in 1911.
The station is one of 117 historic sites that Morris County has helped to preserve since 2003, after the people of the county voted overwhelmingly to dedicate tax dollars annually to protect our rich history. As of last week, when the board approved $2.65 million to protect, restore and preserve 27 sites, Morris County has invested more than $43.3 million to protect, preserve and refurbish buildings, structures and symbols of our past.