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Fun fact: it is assumed Midvale was the name given because of its geographic position in the middle of a valley between the “Windbeam Mountains… and the Westbrook Mountains to the north-west” (diamond jubilee-p10)
“The Greenwood Lake Railroad was responsible for bringing many new settlers to the area. The railroad was used to transport vacationers to Greenwood Lake and the newly constructed Ringwood lakes. The railroad also served the many residents that were employed by the Wanaque River Paper Mill and the DuPont Plant.
Some of the structures around the Midvale Station still stand, check out some of these old photos we found from the Midvale Train Stop area.
As we continue along the rail line, our second stop is where Haskell Station once stood, near Doty Road.
Fun fact: “Haskell is named after a Colonel that headed the Latin Rand Company. There were also two Haskell brothers, probably related to Colonel Haskell, who managed the DuPont Plant on the west side of the Wanaque River. When the railroad engineers would ask as to which DuPont Plant to drop the cargo, a popular response for the west side was to drop it on Haskell side” This area of Pompton Township, below Railroad Avenue had been referred to as Wynockie prior to this time”(diamond jubilee -p13)”
There were Pavilions built with wider roofs and hardwood floors and a jukebox to attract the young adults.
WANAQUE was known as a company town because the DuPont Factory employed upwards of 5000 people, along with a Paper mill that existed for a long time. But around the turn of WW1 the DuPont factory closed, and the Paper Mill was demolished to make room for the reservoir; the residents were hit hard because they lost their livelihoods. According to research, it felt as though that event marked the beginning of the end of this rail line.
Around World War ll, the community started to slowly recover due to tourism. Tourists began flocking towards neighboring Ringwood with it’s brand new 3 lake communities in addition to Greenwood Lake.
The population grew again from 3,100 in the 1940s to 4,200 in the 1950s and again to 7,100 in the 1960’s. (Wikipedia)
Then, at 7:55pm on Friday, September 30th 1966, locomotive 1421 departed the Wanaque-Midvale station for the last time. Closing a chapter in Wanaque’s history.
Both of the train stations in our area now long gone. Midvale station burned down, the tracks have been hauled off, and the land has became a path for power lines, until it was recently reopened as a walking trail. As for the Haskell station, nothing is left of the railroad station; just what’s written and memories.
N/A. Wanaque Borough Diamond Jubilee. Wanaque Borough Official Record, 1993.
West, Louis P. Ramapo Mountain Stories and Tales: Tales of My Recollections and Collections. L.P. West, 1995.
Townsend, Donald. Growing up in Midvale.
Wanaque Local Library
Mr Bruce Matthew
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