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Then and Now: Bertrand Island

Many people don’t need a "then" picture to remind them of what Bertrand’s Island used to be.  The amusement park, which overlooked the lake for decades, is still a fresh memory for many—but the rides and concessions are no longer.

Then: For some 70 years, Bertrand Island was a landmark at Lake Hopatcong. Its location on New Jersey’s largest lake set it aside from other regional amusement parks, which offered pools or salt water beaches.  Bertrand Island featured some 20 rides and a boardwalk full of games. Its roller coaster debuted in 1925 and put Bertrand Island on the map for residents across New Jersey.

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Now: The park ultimately fell victim to Lake Hopatcong’s coming of age as a year-round community.  A booming local economy with soaring real estate values made the existence of an old-fashioned family amusement park in the middle of a residential neighborhood unfeasible.  The park closed on Labor Day 1983 and was demolished in 1986.  Lakeshore Village, a condominium development of 80 units, was built during the summer of 2003.  Even after being closed 25 years, Bertrand Island Park is still fondly remembered throughout northern New Jersey.  A historical marker was placed in front of the Lakeshore Village clubhouse along Bertrand Island Road in 2008 to commemorate the park.

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This and dozens of other "Then and Now" images and stories are available in an updated version of Lake Hopatcong: Then and Now by Marty Kane, president of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. Purchase that and other lake-related history books here on the museum’s website. And see hundreds of photos and other historical paraphernalia at the museum, which is located in Hopatcong State Park and is open this Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m.

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