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Then and Now: Lee’s Park

It used to be a private park that drew droves of swimmers—today it still draws hundreds, but the majority are anglers who launch from the county-owned park.

Then: Brothers Clarence and Edwin Lee (no relation to Lee’s Pavilion at Nolan’s Point) bought land at Van Every Cove in 1919 and founded Lee Brothers Park as a beach and recreation area.  Over the years, Clarence bought out his brother’s share, the name was changed to Lee’s Park, and business passed to Clarence’s son, Robert.

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Now: The business, located on Howard Boulevard in Mt. Arlington, evolved from a bathing beach to a marina with a boat ramp and dock slips, and refreshments continued to be served in its pavilion. In 1995, the Lee family donated the over-ten-acre property to Morris County so that it might be permanently preserved as a park, and it was renamed Lee’s County Park Marina. (The snack bar, sadly, closed around this time.)  Today, it hosts events such as the Marines Helping Marines Fishing Tournament last summer, and is home to the Mountain Lakes Rowing Club, among other things.

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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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