Skylands: Erskine Lakes Aerial views and History
In today’s episode, we are returning to the town of Ringwood and our mission takes us to Erskine Lake and its surrounding community.
Fun fact: Erskine Lake is named after a Scottish mining engineer who became a Surveyor-General in George Washington’s army during the American Revolution. Which coincides with Ringwood’s long mining history. Ringwood consists of 3 major lake communities: Erskine, Cupsaw, and Skyline, but for those not familiar with Ringwood’s history….none of these lakes are natural lakes. Each was man-made and has a history spanning hundreds of years.
The town of Ringwood was formally established in 1918 as a vacation spot for wealthy families just before the Great Depression.
But the history of Ringwood dates back to 1740 when a Welsh Miner discovered large amounts of Iron Deposits.
The town was officially named Ringwood by the Ogden family. Forward to 1771 when Robert Erskine, a mining engineer for the American Company, which operated the Long Pond Iron Works, joined the American Revolution under George Washington.
A surveyor by trade, Erskine contributed upwards of 200 maps to help George Washington’s army. Unfortunately, Robert Erskine died soon after from complications from a common cold. He is buried on the grounds of Ringwood Manor.
The Ringwood Company created Erskine Lake in 1927, by creating a dam, at what was then called Tice’s Pond, as part of a real estate development for uber-wealthy families in the early 1930s. At the time, dams were being constructed throughout the USA.
In fact, the Wanaque Reservoir was built around the same time Erskine Lake was being formed.
Fast forward to ‘Present day’. Erskine Lake is a thriving lake community, which is home to those who enjoy anything from fishing and hiking, to hunting, swimming and exploring the great outdoors.