The backstory of Mountain Lakes

 Before Herbert J. Hapgood came to the quiet and unknown town of Mountain Lakes, it was a small morris county town with only a few families living here. Lewis Van Duyne was the person to start the movement to create homes in this rural area. Van Duyne was planning on building homes in surrounding towns, and that is when he got the bright idea to bring in Herbert J. Hapgood to help develop and build the town up from nothing. There is something so unique about Mountain lakes as a whole. Along with the beautiful homes, the views can not compare. There are seven lakes spread throughout the town that sparkle like no other. The town used to be a vacation home area from all that traveled west from manhattan. It does genuinely feel like living on the beach, and we even have our own beach! 

Mountain Lakes is truly beautiful. 


The view never gets old. 

What is Hapgood Home? 

A Hapgood home is something unique to the town of mountain lakes in morris county new jersey. Mr. Hapgood designed each house by having boulderstone exteriors around a large amount of the property, and all of the homes are a soft brown color. Mr. Hapgood got a large amount of his inspiration from the Gustav Stickley, the American furniture designer. He focused the interior of the house on lots of woodwork. The high ceilings and its chestnut beams are like no other. The floors had each square made of seven narrow rectangles and four nails to each board.  All of the houses have colonial floor plans to make the homes as family-oriented and comfortable. The floor plan is very open, and all the rooms flow into each other. The family room flows into the kitchen, so it creates an ample environment for cooking and family gatherings. Each home has its own plaque with the year it was built and the builder number. 

Who created these houses, and why?

 Herbert J. Hapgood was the developer who created this rural rocky filled land into one of New Jersey's most elite zip codes. This land was around 35 miles west of Manthan that somehow became such a special place to live. The first people to move in the Hapgood homes were Lawrence W. Luellens and family on March 17, 1911. When Hapgood created these houses, he wanted to make something that has never been done before. He created this town with so much pride for itself and the people within it. The residents of Mountain Lakes have always called themselves the Lakers. "Lakers" is the nickname for being a member of this great town. 


Pictured above is Herbert J. Hapgood. 

Why are they so special? 

These houses are so substantial just in their appearance. These homes held many of the rich and famous around the time of 1911. Along with the house itself, some houses may have even had a guest house attached. Having a Hapgood house myself, I have learned many crazy secrets about the houses themself. The Hapgood house I live in currently has been lived in by American-Canadian film actress, Mary Pickford. Mary owned several homes on the street as well. Years ago, I found out that the house I am living in is actually her guest house, and her real estate is two doors down. What is so fascinating about these homes is there is so much history lived in them. Over a hundred years later, that is what draws prospective homeowners to the town of Mountain Lakes. It is insane how much history is in this one-mile long town in morris county New Jersey. Driving down the boulevard screams all of the tales within this town. Hebert Hapgood created a great lake-filled, tree-lined residential area home to one of the most significant combinations of Arts and Crafts-style houses in America. 

Pictured above is one of the many beautiful Hapgood  homes in Mountain Lakes. 

You can really tell the beautiful wood work and craftsmanship that were put into these houses.