This stone foundation back in the woods once supported a small shed. A spring bubbles up inside it, flows through an opening in the stone and forms a stream that runs away down hill. The history of the Spring House is not known exactly but the building must have been involved in collecting drinking water.
In the early days, Mountain Lakes was swampy and, although the lakes were partially fed by springs beneath their surface, the lake water was not considered potable. Initially the houses were supplied by wells. However it wasn’t long before a central water system was installed with underground pipes and a municipal well and pump house.
However, before all that, there was no convenient source of water. Some say the Spring House was built by Herbert J. Hapgood, Mountain Lakes’ original developer as a source of needed drinking water. Others say it was built much earlier by one of the farmers who worked the land to the west.
Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, the shack was used by the local teenagers as a meeting place to sneak off and smoke. Smoking wasn’t so widely accepted in those days and the Spring House was known among the kids as “the place” to congregate and hang out.
How to get there
Start at the Tourne parking lot by the ballfield (access via McCaffrey Lane). Turn left out of the parking lot and go several hundred feet to the beginning of the Ogden (White) Trail, which goes off to the left marked by white blazes. Follow this trail approximately 0.4 mile to an intersection with a blue blazed trail. Turn left on the blue blazed trail (GPS 40.904232 latitude and -74.443014 longitude) and follow it downhill to Rattlesnake Meadow. After the trail crosses the meadow (including two creeks), a point is reached at which the blue trail turns right and starts uphill. The Spring House is about 60 feet off to the left in the woods.
Latitude 40° 54′ 7.992” N ( 40.90222 ) / Longitude 74° 26′ 28.968″ W (-74.44138)