top of page

History of the Club

The native Indian population had largely departed the Morris County region of New Jersey by the mid 1700's and, as the century closed, an emerging iron ore mining and smelting industry drew settlers into the northwest section in increasing numbers. Named for the nation's third president, Jefferson Township was formed from Pequannock and Roxbury Townships in 1804.

Survey Map Hurdtown Area From 1853 Survey Map Of Morris County Map
Courtesy of Robert Den Bleyker

Hurd Family Mansion In Jefferson
Illustration from History of Morris County, Munson & Co., 1882

Hurd Family Iron Mine In Dover
Photo Courtesy Of Jefferson Township Historical Society

About 1800, members of the Hurd family of Dover moved north along what was then known as Union Turnpike, now Route 15, to the location of today's business district just south of Lake Shawnee. By 1820, they had built an iron forge, opened the first store, and established a hotel or "public house." The area became known as Hurdtown and the stream feeding now Lake Shawnee at its northwest corner as Hurd Brook and the Lake itself as Hurd's Pond.

Later, a second major industry developed mining ice to supply the larger cities in New Jersey and New York City. The Brady family ran the largest such enterprise, cutting ice from Lake Hopatcong and Lake Shawnee, the latter then also known as Brady Pond. In 1897, they owned a mansion built earlier by the Hurd family on the site where Gatwyns II restaurant (formerly the Colonial Inn, then Pallis Three) now stands at the entrance to Lake Shawnee.

In 1946, the Arthur D. Crane Company of Sparta, real estate developers, incorporated the Lake Shawnee Club and began selling home sites on the Lake. By 1948, the first two homes were built and during the next 15 years the Club reached its peak of 562 resident members. The Clubhouse was then constructed and First Beach, not included in the original deeds, was subsequently purchased from the Crane Company with funds raised from within the membership.

Arial Photos of Lake Shawnee from 1930

Arial Photos of Lake Shawnee from 2002

Brady Family Ice House
Photo Courtesy of Jefferson Township Historical Society

Sign At Entrance To Lake Shawnee

Photos Courtesy of Steve Wenzel and Family

Crane Company Sales Office 1951
Photos Courtesy of Steve Wenzel and Family

Real Estate Brochures circa 1950's

bottom of page