Winter’s Past in River Edge – When there was Ice Skating at Memorial
Journeys into River Edge
These days “Winter Wonderland” at Van Saun has become a popular local seasonal destination. It features ice skating, a kids’ rink, heated hospitality tent, carousel and train rides, food trucks as well as beer and wine garden. There is even a Learn to Play Hockey clinic staged in partnership with the New Jersey Devils.
Seems like only yesterday but in fact it's now decades ago that winters at Van Saun consisted of ice skating on the pond near Howland. But usually there was a warning sign chasing would be skaters away because the ice was dangerously insufficient. In fact, back then skating was the exception, not the rule.
Not to be forgotten, there was also sledding down through the woods the hill from River Edge into Paramus.
A few of us would, at times, cross country ski or snowshoe through the park – one those rare occasions when adequate snow cover allowed.
And old old timers may still remember the old Zabriskie Pond along Route 4 at the south at end of town at the site of what later (1960’s) became Liberty Travel.
In town itself, the picture below shows ice skaters at the tennis courts in Memorial Park in 1959. These are the “old courts”, though at the time they were new, having opened just two years earlier. In the early 1970’s these tennis courts were replaced by what old timers call the “new courts”, situated near the library. The old courts are now the site of the basketball court, and, ironically, of the street hockey rink.
Can you recall when there was ice skating in Memorial? Does anyone know when they last had ice skating there?
And might anyone have or know of any pictures of the old Zabriskie Pond ?
Photo Source & Acknowledgement: “Inside River Edge – A Know Your Town Survey”, Publication of the League of Women Voters, 1959 (More on this publication in a future posting)