- First, make sure you understand Mountain Lakes history. Read the write-up on the web site, the history chapter in the Borough Master Plan (also on the web site) and the write-up in “This is Mountain Lakes”.
- Next, visit the Morris County Clerk’s office (just around the corner from the County Courthouse) in Morristown. All deeds and all mortgages are accessible, though the process can be time consuming and a bit tricky. If you can figure out the deed books, you can start with the current owners and work backwards to get all the names and dates.
- Check at Borough Hall. You can find old tax records and other materials. Once you have specific names, you can get records of service on Borough Council or borough committees. For example, they have the minutes of Borough Council meetings going way back.
- Check with the Mountain Lakes Borough Archivist. She has old records, old borough directories (the equivalent of the Women’s Club telephone directory). It probably would help if you had names from #2-3 above.
- Once you have names and dates, several of the local newspapers have archives going back many years. So also does the Morris County Library. The Morristown Library is the local center for genealogy research and may have material of interest. Also try the high school library which may have old high school yearbooks which will give you children’s names, activities, and dates.
- Check with other old-timers. There are still a few around. Again, have names and dates first.
- We are considering setting up an old-timers e-mail list. If we do so, try sending a query to it.
There is an interesting book, “Splinters from the Past: Discovering History in Old Houses” by Alex D. Fowler published in 1984 by the Morris County Historical Society. It has an entire chapter on how he goes about doing his research.
Good luck. Please keep us informed since we get this kind of query regularly and would like to be better at answering it.