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200 Years of History

200 Years of History

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Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part IX
Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XIX
Part XX
Part XI: Tourism in Jefferson Township: Part II of II
By R. Richard Willis

The Nolan’s Point Villa, built in the early part of 1880’s as a private dwelling for Mr. George Bryant, who was manager of the Central Railroad. This Villa was located on the hill overlooking Nolan’s Point and Lee’s Pavilion. When the Lake became a tourist attraction Mr. Bryant built additions on his home. It became known as the “Nolan’s Point Villa”, but as with many hotels the name changed to “Bryant Villa”. This hotel had its own railroad station stop. By 1909, the Villa had a new owner, Mr. John Frederick Muller & family. During the Great Depression the hotel was closed and the Muller family lost the hotel. By 1938 the name changed again, this time to Suomi Hovi Hotel, Miss Selma Lemming who bought the hotel named it “Suomi Hovi” which loosely means “Finnish Manor or Mansion”. For many years it ran as a Scandinavian-style resort, complete with Sauna. The hotel burned in 1976. *

The Van Over House, built in 1884, located on Bird Lane, between Espanong and Nolan’s Point Roads. Mr. Apgar, who owned the Woodstock in Mt. Arlington, managed the Van Over House. The hotel also had an annex, icehouse and pump house. The annex, icehouse and pump houses still stand today. The name changed to The Great Cove House in 1918. Mr. George M. Tolton family purchased it in 1920’s. By 1937, two Finnish women leased the Great Cove House, to accommodate employees of Picatinny Arsenal, but in 1938, the women had bad luck and the hotel burned. No one was injured.*

The Old Orchard Inn, built around 1910 in the Woodport section of the township. Mr. Bradley J. Bloodgood owned this hotel. It was located on the right side of the Union Turnpike or currently Route 181. The hotel was located in an orchard, hence the name. The Old Orchard Inn was located on 27 acres of land with a private lake. The construction was of logs and everything was of rustic appearance. Today the building stands much as it did when the hotel was in use. Now the property is the Willow Lake Day Camp. *

The Raccoon Island Hotel, was built in the 1880’s, on Raccoon Island. The hotel was reached by boat or by bridge, and operated in the summer only. By 1896 the name changed to The Hollywood Hotel. There were cottages, a grocery store and docks. In 1912 the hotel burns. Some of the cottages and the store remain today although the store is now a private residence. *

The Sunnyside Hotel, built in the 1880’s and was located on Nolan’s Point behind what is now the Jefferson House. Mr. Mahlon Smith built this hotel, which was originally only two stories with an attic. When business picked up the Smith’s just picked up the attic roof and added a third floor. Mr. Smith was also an engineer on both the Ogden Mine and Central Railroads. This hotel was open all year long. The hotel could accommodate 100 guests. When Mr. Smith died his widow remarried and continued to operate the hotel until the Great Depression. In 1940’s the hotel was purchased by the owners of the Soumi Hovi Hotel and was used as an annex. After the fire that destroyed the Soumi Hovi in 1976, the Sunnyside Hotel was used and called Soumi Hovi as a bar. The building stood empty for many years. In the 1990’s the Orth family purchased the property. Their plans were to convert the building into a ‘bed-n-breakfast’, but with zoning changes needed and public opinion the family decided in 2001 to take down the building. During the week of November 5 the demolition began. By November 10, 2001 only part of one small wall remained. The property is being used as an overflow parking lot. *

The Woodport House, Mr. Thomas Bright who worked for the Glenden Iron Company in Hurdtown, moved to the Woodport area by 1872 and purchased the first Woodport House located on the right side of the Union Turnpike. By 1880’s a second hotel was built located on the left side of Union Turnpike now Route 181. This building burned in 1924 and a Victorian building was constructed. By the middle 1900’s again the building burns.

Jefferson Township didn’t have a municipal building for most of its history until the current building was built in 1972. Records were kept in private homes, where town officers conducted the towns business. With fires, floods, and deaths the records of Jefferson Township were disappearing. So Jefferson Township decided to put all the available records in a safe place! The Woodport Hotel, but the hotel burned too. A section of the foundation of that hotel is under the Warehouse Restaurant building. *

The following hotels were located in the upper end of Jefferson Township.

Brown’s Inn, located on Route 23 & Green Pond Road, built in the early 1800’s and rebuilt in 1848. It was an overnight stage stop.

The Norman Hotel (Milton Hotel) was located on the corners of School House Lane and Dover-Milton Road. After the hotel closed, it was a private home, occupied by Byrant Norman and his sister Blanche. Eventually the hotel building housed schoolrooms. The building was eventually taken down, the site is vacant currently and soon the future new home of the Milton United Methodist Church.

* Photos of the above hotels can be found in. "Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong" an Arcadia book, available at The Jefferson Township Historical Society Museum, The Lake Hopatcong Historical Museums or Barnes and Noble Booksellers.