I love this photo of my Dad, Charles Brodhead, and his brother Woody (his only sibling) way out in the distance, fishing Lake Mohawk (Sparta Township, Sussex Co., NJ), in 1929. He was eight and his brother was 17; it’s fun to see them enjoying some brother time together. They had quite an age gap between them, and because of that and the fact that Woody was away from home at a boarding school for much of the year, they did not have many opportunities to do things together.
The lake was the creation of the Arthur D. Crane Co., which began constructing a 600-foot dam on the Wallkill River in 1926. When this photo was taken, probably by my grandfather, the lake had only been filled with water for a year or so. My dad’s parents were among the first to buy a lakefront lot and to have a home constructed there. Crane and his associates created Lake Mohawk to be a private community, and they had total control over development and sales. Many of the original homes and the lakeside plaza—all created in a very distinctive Alpine style—remain. The lakeside plaza reminds me a bit of Lucerne, Switzerland. (YouTube tour of Lake Mohawk; Old Photos of Lake Mohawk on YouTube)
For my dad and his family, Lake Mohawk was their little oasis for R&R whenever they could get away from their main home in the city (Elizabeth, NJ). His parents sold the house while my Dad was off in the Pacific during WWII, something he learned about only after returning home. Needless to say, he was very upset, but he went on to buy his own little lakefront house there as soon as he was able. For him, Lake Mohawk and the surrounding countryside held so many great memories, he wanted that magic to continue. And I can’t say that I blame him. It’s a lovely spot.