Robert D. MacEwen, Sr.
- Mailing address:
Sheboygan Falls, Wisc.
- When and where were you born?
1921, Manhatten, NYC.
- When did you come to Mountain Lakes?
Parents came in 1920. My mother happened to be in NYC when I was born — on a kitchen table!
- Tell us something about your family. Did your parents also live here?
Yes. My parents, my brother, my sister, my father’s father, my mother’s, mother.
- Where have you lived in the Borough? In which houses?
21 Pollard Rd. 1920-1978
- What do you remember particularly about the houses and properties where you lived?
Pollard Rd. was next-to-last road paved — late 1920s.
- What are some of your special memories growing up in Mountain Lakes?
Inauguration of 4th of July fireworks; Development of Island Beach; Building of the High School; Kids no longer go to Boonton or Morristown.
- Where did you go to school? What particular memories do you have from your school years? Are there any special stories you associate with that time of your life?
1-8 Mountain Lakes. 9-12 Naval Prep School.
- Where did you and your family shop?
Yaccarino’s, Blocks (Boonton).
- What were the roads and the lakes like?
Leonard’s Beach on Little Lake, Boulevard and Lake Drive had permanent blinker beacon in middle of Boulevard. Morris County Traction trolley ran on what is now the foot path on Boulevard.
- Are there any special people you remember who contributed to the life of the town? Why do they stand out in your mind?
Chief Harry Dennis. He was a remarkable man. Halsey Frederick as mayor accomplished much for the town.
- What did you do for fun formal recreation, sports and entertainment in general?
8th grade had a baseball team. Played other schools. Town had baseball team played home games at Neafie’s Field (“Diaper Hollow”)
- Are there any special events that stand out in your mind?
Used to be Christmas caroling around the alrge spruce that grew on grammer school grounds at corner of Boulevard and Lake Drive.
- Did your parents and the parents of your friends work nearby? In New York or elsewhere? How did they get to work? How did commuting change over your time here?
Father (lots of fathers) rode the Lackawanna, 8:06 am to Hoboken, 6:20 pm return. Trains gradually eclipsed by bus/autos.
- How did various laws affect the way people lived?
My father servered as Recorder’s Court Magistrate in the 1930s. (Jas. R. R, McEwen)
- Did you have a sense of Mountain Lakes as a unique place in its lifestyle, its homes, as a community?
It was a world apart.
- How did the world’s events — 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?
Times were tough. In the 1930’s any house could be had for $5000. I served in U.S. Navy in 1940-1947. We lost more than a few local boys in WW-II.
- What made living in Mountain Lakes special to you, as you think back over your life here?
Close-knit, everybody knew every other person.
N.B. This was sent to me by my daughter, Patti Milne (MLHS Class of 1966), County Commissioner, Marion County, Oregon. She lives in Salem, Oregon (capital).