Old photo's of Lake Oswego

Suzanne G Cross

New Member
Jul 1, 2019
3
0
1
08012
Hello all. I have been going to Lake Oswego for over 30 years. I always thought it was several old cranberry bogs that had been flooded and that the cement foundation were from a old pump house. I was there yesterday and was told by a local that it was actually a lake for swimming and the old foundations were bath houses. I googled for hours but the only thing I found was that it was a swimming lake back in 1942 and there were bath houses. Does anyone know if any pictures exist? I would love to see what it looked like back in the day.....thanks
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,727
3,713
1,093
8/14/1934

State Forester C. P. Wilber has under construction a lake in the forest which will cover 50 acres. The area to be flooded includes an ADJACENT cranberry bog reservoir, the source of the water supply being the Oswego River. From Bear Swamp Hill, a local land-mark, there can be obtained an excellent view of the surrounding country for 30 or 40 miles in all directions. A picnic site and an observation tower are being built on this location.
 

Suzanne G Cross

New Member
Jul 1, 2019
3
0
1
08012
8/14/1934

State Forester C. P. Wilber has under construction a lake in the forest which will cover 50 acres. The area to be flooded includes an ADJACENT cranberry bog reservoir, the source of the water supply being the Oswego River. From Bear Swamp Hill, a local land-mark, there can be obtained an excellent view of the surrounding country for 30 or 40 miles in all directions. A picnic site and an observation tower are being built on this location.
Thank you so much for this! Hoping to find some pics! I really appreciate this info
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
256
135
43
Bass River State Forest
You probably already found this, but if not: This "History of Penn State Forest" document: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/docs/penn_sf_history.pdf has a sentence about Lake Oswego (which is partly within Penn SF), saying it was developed in 1942 "with picnic and bathing facilities". No pictures here, unfortunately. But the sentence is footnoted with a reference: Kevin Wright, “A Century of Forest Stewardship in New Jersey, 1905-2005,” 22." If you can find that book or document, it might be of more help.
 

Suzanne G Cross

New Member
Jul 1, 2019
3
0
1
08012
You probably already found this, but if not: This "History of Penn State Forest" document: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/docs/penn_sf_history.pdf has a sentence about Lake Oswego (which is partly within Penn SF), saying it was developed in 1942 "with picnic and bathing facilities". No pictures here, unfortunately. But the sentence is footnoted with a reference: Kevin Wright, “A Century of Forest Stewardship in New Jersey, 1905-2005,” 22." If you can find that book or document, it might be of more help.
Thank you so much, I did find that sentence. I will look for the book, thanks
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
256
135
43
Bass River State Forest
Good find! Interesting read, but alas, no pictures or details re: Lake Oswego. Same exact sentence as quoted in the Penn SF History document, then some text about the CCC work in 1938-1939. It mentions a recreation center, but maybe that was just the lakeside picnic area. Was there really a forest fire service landing field at Penn? Probably refers to Coyle Field to the north.
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,579
376
1,063
Trenton
Suzanne, you may have better luck looking through historic CCC photos of the area. The corp was very active at Oswego and the surrounding areas.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,420
1,892
1,093
Coastal NJ
Might check at Bass River SF, they have CCC records there, maybe they have something on the work at Oswego. There is this CCC site for NJ, but no info for Penn SF. My Uncle was in the CCC and I was able to get his service records from the CCC museum; his camp was out in Utah.

 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
256
135
43
Bass River State Forest
I know there are CCC records and artifacts from the Bass River CCC camp at the Bass River forest office, but I don't know about Penn / Lake Oswego. I kind of doubt it.
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
256
135
43
Bass River State Forest
Yes that is likely it.
In case people weren't aware, the Penn SF CCC camp was for African American young men. Segregation was legal and common at that time.
I'll be at the Bass River office this week and I'll ask around / look around.
 

Spung-Man

Explorer
Jan 5, 2009
912
518
93
59
Richland, NJ
loki.stockton.edu
But the sentence is footnoted with a reference: Kevin Wright, “A Century of Forest Stewardship in New Jersey, 1905-2005,” 22.
I tried to track down the author, but sadly he passed away up in Bergen County.

"Kevin Wright, a quintessential New Jersey historian and indefatigable champion and protector of New Bridge Landing, Bergen County’s cherished Revolutionary War site, died Thursday at Hackensack University Medical Center. He was 64 and a resident of River Edge":


What I found striking was Wright's notes on John Clayton Gifford, the first forester with a PhD degree. He also taught forestry at Cornell and the University of Miami. While I knew Gifford had deep interest in South Jersey landscapes, I had no idea he grew up in Mays Landing next to Spoony's Marina (born 1870). John spent much of his youth in the Hamilton Township woods, when he wasn't working on his father's boat. I was particularly interested in his thoughts on spungs, cripples, and savannahs. Contemporaries note he could tell a good yarn.

Gifford secretly married Edith D. McCarthy, of Plainfield, New Jersey, at his Mays Landing home in 1896. Herself a forester, she is credited with saving the Palisades along the Hudson from destruction by quarry operations:

Gifford was a contemporary of Weymouth's resident storyteller Fountain Gale (born 1871 at Gloucester Furnace; moved to Weymouth ~1890). Fountain was enlisted as an early fire warden around the time Gifford was Secretary of the Sate Forestry Association. I mention Fountain because Special Collections at the Bjork Library (through the South Jersey Culture and History Center) recently salvaged an early 45-minute recording of the forester discovered by PPA's Jason Howell—his great great grandson. This interview covers events around Gloucester and Weymouth Furnaces, and stories of fighting forest fires in Atlantic County. The tape should be available soon ans an upload in digital format.

S-M
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Menantico and Boyd