They Drained the Lake?

Did I ever tell you about the lake in Boonton? It was located in the hill section of town, and if you are paying attention, you will note I am speaking of it in the past tense.

When I was very young, I would sometimes go swimming there. It was called Sunset Lake, and it had a nice beach and a snack bar. My most vivid memory was going there with a banana-shaped floaty thing that somehow got lost. It was eventually located at a house at the top of Wootton Street, which backed up to the lake. I never knew how it got there nor how I got it back. I guess it will forever be one of those mysteries of life, like why don’t sheep shrink when it rains.

Sometime during the early to mid-sixties, Sunset Lake was drained and replaced with two- family homes, packed tightly into the area where I once swam and others fished. I guess that was called progress.

Why did this happen? I read three theories. One was that the town did not want the liability of a second swimming area (the first was in the river near the area where Santa Land sits today). A second theory was that the town of Boonton refused to pay the owner’s asking price for the lake, and the third thought was that there was more revenue to be gained in taxes by all those new residences.

Whatever the reason, it was very sad. It was a nice recreational spot that is now part of a bygone era. RIP Sunset Lake.

Sunset Lake