Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey

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Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey is located in Morris County, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha's location in Morris County (Inset: Morris County in New Jersey)
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey (New Jersey)
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey is located in the United States
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°52′57″N 74°22′54″W / 40.88250°N 74.38167°W / 40.88250; -74.38167Coordinates: 40°52′57″N 74°22′54″W / 40.88250°N 74.38167°W / 40.88250; -74.38167
Country United States
State New Jersey
TownshipParsippany-Troy Hills
253 ft (77 m)
ZIP code
GNIS feature ID0877634[1]

Lake Hiawatha is an unincorporated community located within Parsippany-Troy Hills in Morris County, New Jersey, United States.[2] The area is served as United States Postal Service as ZIP code 07034. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population for ZIP Code Tabulation Area 07034 was 9,360.[3]

Lake Hiawatha was named after Hiawatha, a 16th-century First Nations leader and peacemaker, as evident by plaques on the gazebo on Beverwyck Road, the name of its park, and in the name and emblem of its fire department. However, its name was likely inspired by the popularity of The Song of Hiawatha, an 1855 poem by Longfellow which has little to no correlation with the historical figure of Hiawatha.


Pre-colonial history[edit]

Lake Hiawatha is part of the Lenapehoking, the traditional territory of the Munsee subtribe of the Lenape tribe. Lenape tribes inhabited the lands for thousands of years prior to European arrival.

Beverwyck plantation[edit]

Beverwyck Road is the central road that divides downtown Lake Hiawatha, containing the majority of its small businesses,[4] and leads to Route 10.[5]

The road was named for the 2,000-acre (3.125 mile) Beverwyck plantation, a slave plantation which was in operation from the 1730s to the early 1800s.[6] The estate's owners included William Kelly, Abraham Lott, and Lucas Von Beverhoudt. It was also called Beaverwyck, Beaverwick, and the Red Barracks.[7]

In 1768, a newspaper advertisement for the property mentioned a "Negro House" which was constructed to house over 20 enslaved workers, including a blacksmith, a shoemaker, and a mason.[7][8] In 1780, Von Beverhoudt posted a newspaper notice providing a description to re-capture "Jack," a "runaway slave"; this notice is on file at the Morristown National Historical Park.[7]

Phebe Ann Jacobs (1785 - 1850) was "born a slave" on the Beverwyck plantation.[9] As a child, she was "given to"[9] Maria Malleville, the daughter of President Wheelock of Dartmouth college. In 1820, Maria Malleville married President Allen of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Jacobs remained with the family until the death of Maria Allen, from which time she chose to live alone. For the last years of her life, she was free in Maine, laundering clothes for students of Bowdoin. Mrs. T. C. Upham, the wife of a theology professor at Bowdoin, met Jacobs and wrote the biography of her life. Jacobs died in Brunswick, February 28, 1850.[9]

In 1850, Upham published the biography titled Narrative of Phebe Ann Jacobs in London.[9] The book demonstrated Jacobs's lifelong devotion to Christianity. The biography served as inspiration for author Harriet Beecher Stowe as she wrote 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.[10]

During the Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783, Beverwyck Road was known as Washington's Trail,[4] and was often traversed by French and Continental armies en route to Morristown.[5]

Visitors entertained at the Beverwyck plantation include George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, and Marquis de Lafayette.[6]

Addition of lake[edit]

In the 1920s, developers began developing the community, focusing on summer houses.

By 1932, the built environment was complete and houses were settled. North Beverwyck Road, Dacotah Avenue and Nokomis Avenue were the only streets available.[11]

The lake was completed in 1935. Developers redirected the Rockaway River into a lake and used the shoreline to construct summer houses and a meeting house for its country club. The lake was meant as the center of summer activity, consisting of an artificial beach with white sand, a pavilion, a playground, and an area for barbecues.[11]

In January of 1935, a fire destroyed a home on Wenonah Ave in Lake Hiawatha. As a response, six men founded the volunteer-based Lake Hiawatha Fire Department in a basement. Their first meeting was held at the clubhouse in February. The town could only afford three backpacks of galvanized fire pumps (a.k.a., "Indian pumps"). The new Department's goal was to fundraise the purchase of more substantial firefighting equipment.

Several fundraisers were held in 1935. First, the Fire Department hosted a professional boxing match that cost 50¢ for general admission and 75¢ for ringside.

In 1935, the firefighters organized and performed a minstrel show fundraiser,[11] a type of stage performance based on racist Black caricatures. Circa 1935, minstrel shows were predominantly amateur theater, continuing to perform slavery-focused musical skits of the Antebellum era, circa 1850s.[12] An audience of 414 attended the show; donations and ticket sales provided enough money for the purchase the first fire engine.[11]

In August of 1935, the fire department purchased their first fire engine, a 1913 American LaFrance.[11]

In 1948, Benjamin J. Kline donated the funds required to create the Lake Hiawatha Public Library.[13]

By the 1960s, the lake had dried up and the cabins were rebuilt into year-round homes.[14]


The area was created when a chain of volcanic islands collided with the North American plate. The islands went over the North American plate and created the highlands of New Jersey. Then around 450 million years ago, a small continent collided with proto North America and created folding and faulting in western New Jersey and the southern Appalachians. When the African plate separated from North America, this created an aborted rift system or half-graben. The land lowered between the Ramapo fault in western Parsippany and the fault that was west of Paterson.

The Wisconsin Glacier covered the area from 21,000 to 13,000 BC. When the glacier melted due to climate change, Lake Passaic was formed, covering all of what is now Lake Hiawatha. Lake Passaic slowly drained and much of the area is swamps or low-lying meadows such as Troy Meadows. The Rockaway River flows over the Ramapo fault in Boonton and then flows along the northwestern edge of Lake Hiawatha. In this area, there are swamps near the river or in the area.

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Lake Hiawatha include:


  1. ^ "Lake Hiawatha". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  2. ^ Locality Search, State of New Jersey. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  3. ^ DP-1Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010- 2010 Demographic Profile Data for ZCTA5 07034 Archived 2020-02-10 at, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 15, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Parsippany Mayor Announces $4 Million in Investments for North Beverwyck Road and Lake Hiawatha". Insider NJ. December 1, 2020. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Parsippany Not Quite the Same as Gen. Washington or Gov. Livingston Would Have Remembered It". Parsippany, NJ Patch. April 13, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "NJDEP-News Release 04/32 - DEP's Historic Preservation Office Names the Beverwyck Site to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places". Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c National Park Service. "National Register of Historic Places Continuation Sheet". United States Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on November 25, 2021.
  8. ^ "The New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury, No. 855". March 21, 1768.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Mrs. T. C. Upham Narrative of Phebe Ann Jacobs". Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Summary of Narrative of Phebe Ann Jacobs". Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e Cahill, Frank L. (May 18, 2015). "Lake Hiawatha Fire Department Holds Annual Boot Drive | Parsippany Focus". Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  12. ^ "Blackface: the Sad History of Minstrel Shows". AMERICAN HERITAGE. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  13. ^ A bronze plaque within the library reads "LAKE HIAWATHA PUBLIC LIBRARY - Donated by Benjamin J. Kline - 1948 - "
  14. ^ Fagan, David M. Zimmer, Dave Sheingold, Svetlana Shkolnikova and Matt. "Sorry, your New Jersey hometown may not be a town at all". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  15. ^ "Ex-Morris vet's name to grace Florida school". Daily Record. February 25, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2008. Cafferata was born in New York City, but moved to Morris County with his family when he was 9 years old and lived in Lake Hiawatha and Montville. He graduated from Boonton High School in 1949, and was one of the first inductees to the school's Hall of Fame in 1996.
  16. ^ "The Small World Of Mr. Big", Accessed February 10, 2022. "Bobby Darin's been called the most conceited guy in show business. Is he really? C'mon along with us to a humble little cottage on Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, and be the first to meet the real BD!"
  17. ^ "Campus Life: Penn; 'Tigers' Attacked, And Princeton Gets an Apology", The New York Times, November 12, 1989. Accessed February 10, 2022. "Penn officials found the heads with the help of the university's Interfraternity Council president, Garrett Reisman, a senior in Penn's management and technology program from Lake Hiawatha, N.J."