Journeys into Hackensack
Not too long ago we profiled a town in Minnesota’s lake district called Hackensack. Named after our Hackensack it is a place connected to the lakes nearby.
Not many are aware these days, but it is not too long ago that there almost came to be a Lake Hackensack right here in our New Jersey Hackensack.
As late as the 1970’s there was a serious effort to build Lake Hackensack from the Hackensack River.
Those who know of such things say that there was once a Lake Hackensack in the mastodon's time, so
It can be said that this was actually an effort to “bring back” a Lake Hackensack
The idea was to transform the river to a lake In an area after a dam or tidal barrier built between
Hackensack and Bogota running to River Edge in order to eliminate polluted, tidal
action and stabilize the lake water level.
It was envisioned as transforming a heavily polluted section of the Hackensack
River into a fresh water lake capable of supporting a wide range of water orientated activities on
its 180 acres. The shoreline, such as Foschini and Johnson Parks, was to have shoreline landscaping
to encourage the residents to come for the boating, fishing, as well as the shoreline bicycle and
Also in the plans was a system of boat transportation which could provide service
between Hackensack and other points on the lake. There was to be a 5 acre marsh that would be
preserved and protected.
The talk in the early 1970’s was of restoring the area around the the Von Steuben House to its
original colonial village atmosphere, with the area to be linked to Hackensack by the lakefront
path system and boat facilities. There was even talk of an open-air amphitheater to be included.
Of course, the lake was never built. However, some of its proposed elements were, in fact, implemented in subsequent decades the years. Moreover. There are some exciting new plans in place at Historic New Bridge Landing, including an interpretive museum.
Though it may not be called Lake Hackensack, a vision that area and the Hackensack River valley continues.
Also see: New York Times 1972 article: https://www.nytimes.com/1972/11/26/archives/after-66-years-hackensack-may-get-new-lake.html