200 Years of History
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
The following hotels were located in the upper end of Jefferson
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.