- Mailing address:
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
- When and where were you born?
Jersey City, N.J., 1911.
- When did you come to Mountain Lakes?
- Tell us something about your family; did your parents also live here?
Parents, George and Villette Wyckoff, bought house at 55 Lake Drive for $10,000, moved there with 6 children in 1914.
- Where have you lived in the Borough? In which houses?
After financial reverses, parents sold 55 Lake Drive and moved to 140 Ball Road, 1924. I lived there most years between 1924 and 1942. Ball Road house sold in 1943.
- What do you remember particularly about the houses and properties where you lived?
Too much to detail.
- What are some of your special memories growing up in Mountain Lakes?
- Where did you go to school?
Mt. Lakes, Boonton, Morristown..– What particular memories do you have from your school years? So many!…Are there any special stories you associate with that time of your life?
- Where did you and your family shop?
Mt. Lakes, Boonton, Newark
- What were the roads and the lakes like?
Dirt roads. Lakes originally pristine, later had pollution problems.
- Are there any special people you remember who contributed to the life of the town? Why do they stand out in your mind?
I can remember maybe a dozen of the very early families, and the school principal who paddled the bad boys.
- What did you do for fun?
– formal recreation, sports and entertainment in general Swimming, sledding, hiking, baseball, Scouts. Member Mt. Lakes Glee Club about 1933-37.
- Are there any special events that stand out in your mind?
None at this time.
- Did your parents and the parents of your friends work nearby? In New York or elsewhere?
My father, a chemist, commuted to N.Y. Years later I too commuted.
- How did commuting change over your time here?
- How did various laws affect the way people lived?
Applicable laws were few and simple.
- Did you have a sense of Mountain Lakes as a unique place in its lifestyle, its homes, as a community?
Yes. It seems to have been among the first communities of its kind, at least in N.J.
- How did the world’s events affect your life?
World War I, the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the assassination of JFK, Viet Nam, Watergate, etc. — affect you and fellow Mountain Lakes residents when you were growing up? — I have some vivid memories from World War I days, including visiting nearby Army camp in Pompton Lakes, my patents hosting wounded soldiers, rushing out onto Lake Drive banging pots and pans on Armistice Day.
- What made living in Mountain Lakes special to you, as you think back over your life here?
The whole complex, esp. the outdoor opportunities.
- Personal Note
Am now retired, age 94 , resident of Cedar Crest Village retirement community, in Pequannock., N.J. (address is Pompton Plains – see above). Wife Elaine now in nursing home with Alzheimer’s.Three children, scattered. B.S., Trinity College (Hartford); M.A., Columbia. After 3 1/2 years in service, lived 27 years in Ridgewood, then 30 in Ringwood. Was a book editor, science writer, photographer in earth science and travel, active hiker and conservationist, chorus singer. Most recent book (1999): Reading the Earth, a comprehensive guide to earth scenery for students and laypersons. Plagued in recent months by shingles, broken leg, cancer, spinal injuries from chemo, but now on the mend.
I attended the Mountain Lakes 75th anniversary, in 1986. Met old residents James Macfarland, Vernon and Jack Lee, Alice Llewellyn (her family was the town’s first) Marjorie Orgain, Jack Hildreth, Winifred Castle, Florence Rimes, etc. …Seven years ago I met Ruth Havens Watts, widow of Claude Watts, at the big retirement home in Denville. She was then 98, driving and doing volunteer work. Also there I saw Dorothy Whitmore Macfarland, widow of James Macfarland.