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Then and Now: Hollywood on Raccoon Island

In the last century or so, Raccoon Island has lost a bridge, gained a ferry, lost a hotel, and gained a small community of homes. One of those houses has a Hollywood history (but not the Hollywood you’re probably thinking of).

Then: Raccoon Island was originally developed in the late 1880s. In 1891, the Chincopee Bridge was opened, connecting the island with the mainland with the mainland. At that time, there were 12 cottages and a hotel, named the Hollywood, on the island. A general store operated on the hotel’s property, along the shoreline.

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Now: The Chincopee Bridge collapsed in 1899 and there was talk for years about its replacement. A new bridge was finally approved in 1928 but was never built as a result of the onset of the Great Depression. Ferry service from Chincopee Road was inaugurated in 1932 and continues to this day. Although the hotel was destroyed by fire in November 1912, the store survived and was turned into a delightful residence in 1920 and remains so today. Raccoon Island now hosts about 65 homes.

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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 on Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m., through the fall.     

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