Then and Now: Hudson Maxim’s Boat House

Little remains of the great Hudson Maxim estate, known as Maxim Park, which once dominated the west shore of Lake Hopatcong. Then: Described by Thomas Edison as "the most versatile man in America," Hudson Maxim was an inventor, scientist, author, and explosives expert.  In 1904, Maxim built his main house, initially known as Maximhurst and later as Maxim Park. In 1906, Maxim built his famous Venetian-style boat house, which would dominate the west shore of Lake Hopatcong for the next 50 years.  To the right of his boat house was his round observatory/ice house.



Now: Maxim died on May 6, 1927, at Maxim Park.  Regrettably, the main house and boat house were torn down in the late 1950s.  The property was subdivided and two of Maxim's guest houses and the garage remain today as private residences.  A modern boat house was built on the original concrete pillars around 1970, and the unique round ice house/observatory survives next door.  Much of the original stonework that landscaped the property is still visible along Lakeside Boulevard.  A Sussex County historic marker was placed at the site in 2007.



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.

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Anyone interested in the history of Lake Hopatcong (and the Canal), why people still argue about who owns the land under the lake, why people get concerned about releasing water for downstream, the environmental characteristics and using Lake Hopatcong as a water supply, etc, should read

Hudson Maxim’s book, “Lake Hopatcong the Beautiful: A Plea for its Dedication as a Public Park.

Its a fun light read, and some interesting anecdotes and old-time dialogue that’s fun and interesting to read, even besides all the Lake Hopatcong history included as well.

Various ways to download and read it are on the left side of and it is also for sale as a paperback from B&N, Amazon, etc.

John Kurzman | November 18, 2014