Friday, May 25, 2012

Echo Glen Lake

Not many people know that there was a beautiful lake right in the center of River Vale. It was created by the Holdrum family by constructing a dam that blocked the little stream that presently runs under River Vale Road about 200 feet north of the police station. The lake covered the area from the present DPW garage north to the base of the hill where the Holdrum Estate stood. It went eastward about 400 feet to where the broken dam still stands. It went westward for probably 1500 feet or more and on the West side of River Vale Road. It was quite wide in some places. On a weekend you would see a crowd of people fishing off the bridge on both sides of River Vale Road. A crowd in those days meant 8 or 10 people. This lake was directly across Echo Glen Road from my home and I spent many, many hours playing along the grassy shore of this wonderful lake.

During the winter this place attracted even more people than in the summer. There was no television with which to watch football or things like that on a Sunday afternoon, so people headed out to various ponds in the area to go ice skating. Occasionally, an ice boat would show up on "our" lake as the lake was long enough for an ice boat to get moving. Saturdays and Sundays would bring dozens of people onto the lake and a couple of bonfires would be started so the skaters could take a time out and get warmed up. As I remember, I would spend more time playing with the fire than I would playing on the ice.

Echo Glen Lake
At left is a picture of Echo Glen Lake looking south from the front lawn of the Holdrum Estate. The two buildings are a rear view of the Holdrum ice houses. To the right of this, behind the old car would be the site of the present day police station and DPW garage. The row of trees further to the right would follow the path of River Vale Road going south. I don't know when this picture was taken. My guess is that it was the late 20's. The forward two people in the canoe are my father, Roy Secor, and my uncle, Harold Riedel, the other two I cannot identify.

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