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Then and Now: River Styx Bridge

Today’s River Styx Bridge—with hundreds of cars crossing every day, and motorboats buzzing underneath—is a far cry from the original.

Then: When cottages were first built on the west shore of Lake Hopatcong, north of River Styx Cove, it was concluded that a bridge was needed to access Landing by road. The first River Styx Bridge was constructed entirely of wood in the 1880s at private expense.

River Styx Bridge, Then
 
Now: The Borough of Hopatcong built a steel bridge in its place in 1909, and the bridge has undergone several renovations since. It was completely rebuilt in 1971, and was closed for part of the summer of 2008 as deck joints and other deterioration were repaired. Concerns were raised this year about possible degradation, but it was determined to be structurally sound. The surrounding area is now packed with homes and businesses, including Johnny’s Marina, in the foreground.
 
River Styx Bridge, Now
 

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 resumes weekend hours in the fall.  

2 Responses

  1. Stefanie
    Stefanie at |

    How did the bridge/street get its name? I know in Greek Mythology The River Styx is a river that forms a border between the underworld and the world of the living. is there any story behind this? I grew up on this road so I’ve always wondered about it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Marty Kane
    Marty Kane at |

    The ancient Greeks believed in the existence of an underworld, where souls go after they die. According to Greek mythology, in order for souls to get to the underworld, they must cross the River Styx. The name River Styx dates back to the earliest maps of Lake Hopatcong. Stephen Shaffer who wrote a 19th century journal about the lake attributed the name to the very gnarled look this area of the lake had when it was first visited by Europeans. The name stuck and has been here ever since. There are only a handful of places with this name in the United States.

    Reply

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