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Indian Lake, NJ

IndianLake1.jpg
Lake Size: 99 Acre
Latitude: 40.88864
Longitude: -74.4886
Lake Level Above Sea Level: 509 ft (155 m)
Counties: Morris County
Cities: Denville

Information: Originally the area of Indian Lake was quite rural with active farms. Besides the Hinchman farm, there was the Thomas Green farm on Chestnut Hill, the Hussa Farm on Franklin Road near U.S. Route 46, and the Ed Beam Farm in the North Shore Road area of Indian Lake. The idea of Indian Lake was originally conceived by Joseph B. Righter in hopes of creating a development similar to nearby Mountain Lakes. He was a native of Denville and visualized that the waters of Den Brook could provide an excellent lake because of the surrounding terrain. He accumulated numerous parcels of land until he had accumulated approximately 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land. Around 1920 he proceeded to clear the property. The trees were hauled by a yoke of oxen to a sawmill that was set up on site. A dam was required to hold back the waters of the Den Brook. The original dam built by J.B. Righter is still in place today. The Den Brook started flooding the cleared land. The resulting lake, Lenape Lake, was named after the earliest inhabitants of the area, the Leni Lenape Native Americans of the Delaware tribe. Roads were laid out and the land divided into plots for year round homes. The first house was sold right next to the dam. J.B. Righter took ill and died in November 1922. His dream for Lenape Lake was realized but he never saw it developed. The first house built on Lenape Lake was built by his wife Susan A. Righter, and stands at the corner of Southwynde Drive and Indian Road. After a short time the A.D. Crane Company bought the property from the estate. They completely changed the entire original plans, including road plans, divided it into smaller lots, and instead of developing high priced year round homes, it was developed into a summer community. Subsequently they changed the name from Lenape Lake to Indian Lake but named the island Lenape Island. Many of the new residents came from Hudson, Bergen, and Essex counties. Originally non-lakefront lots could be bought for $300–$400, while lake front lots sold for about $1000. Indian lake continued as a summer community for many years. In 1924 there were about 500 summer residents in Indian lake. The Great Depression years saw a few families move from New York City to the cottages they owned. The following generation's need for homes of their own and the post World War II housing shortage further accelerated the development of the community as a year round residential area.
  
 



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