The space that once featured Lake Hopatcong's grandest hotel now features a collection of private homes, tucked along the south shore of one of the lake's busiest coves. Then: The single most important factor in Lake Hopatcong's growth as a resort was the construction of the Hotel Breslin in 1887. Orchestrated by a group of wealthy and influential individuals, the Breslin gave Lake Hopatcong instant credibility as a resort. Designed by noted American architect Frank Furness, Lake Hopatcong's classiest hotel was built on 18 acres in Mt. Arlington, overlooking Chestnut Point. It was the first structure to have electricity at the lake, with all rooms electrified for the 1896 season. The hotel had approximately 250 guest rooms and provided a host of facilities and activities for guests. In 1896, the Breslin became a private club, known as the Lake Hopatcong Club, for two years before reverting back to the Breslin. The hotel was renamed the Alamac in 1918.
Now: After being closed during World War II, extensive renovations were being undertaken on the hotel when it burned to the ground in a spectacular fire in February 1948. The property was subdivided and developed over the years. The Breslin's boat house survives as part of a private residence, and a wooden structure associated with the hotel's beach survives, in poor condition. Decorative stone work and stairs from the hotel still exist today on various private properties.
This and dozens of other "Then and Now" images and stories are available in an updated version of Lake Hopatcong: Then and Now by Marty Kane, president of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. Purchase that and other lake-related history books here on the museum's website. And see hundreds of photos and other historical paraphernalia at the museum, which is located in Hopatcong State Park and is open on Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m., through the fall.