Interactive Timeline: Winter's Pond

Residents working to restore once town center to its former glory

A group of residents is working to preserve the history of Winter’s Pond, and to try to revitalize what was once a community center of the township.

According to township Historian Carol Greene, the pond began as a millpond in the 1700’s, and belonged for most of its history to Mahwah’s Winter family. “Winter’s Pond does have an industrial history,” Greene said. “But, even heading back to its early days, there was a sense of community built around this pond. This area was the heart of the old town.”

The pond, she said, began being used solely for recreation after it stopped serving a mill purpose, around 1900. “It was huge for ice skating, and families used to congregate around the pond. People even used to have their wedding photos taken here.”

The pond began to decline in the 1980’s, she said, after it stopped freezing over and could no longer be used for ice-skating.

Recently, following a 2011 dredging of the pond and subsequent township clean-up effort, Greene and fellow members of the , like Tom Dewan, have been working to revitalize this once township center. Greene called the area a “hidden treasure.”

“Our idea is to bring the pond back to what it used to be,” Dewan, who recently compiled a bunch of historic photos to make a display about the pond, said. “We’ve been working with the township, sharing ideas about different things that we could put here to attract residents to use it more.”

According to Greene, the revitalization of Winter’s Pond is important because it will bring back to Mahwah something the township has lost. “We don’t have a Main Street,” Green, the author of The Ramapo Chronicles: A 300-year History of Mahwah, New Jersey and its Surrounds, said. “But there is a sense of community in Mahwah, and a lot of that started with Winter’s Pond. I think we can, and should, get that back.”

Greene and Dewan submitted pictures to the Mahwah Patch, along with a brief history of the pond. Click the dots on the timeline above to see the photos and read some of the pond’s history.


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Tom O'Brien August 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Until the Canada geese vacate the pond area, their droppings and the mess they leave behind, will never allow the pond area to be a welcome spot for visitors. The pond area and the lawn in front of the old station are difficult to walk through without fear of tracking their mess on your shoes.
NB August 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I think its a great idea! As far as the geese go all that is needed are stationary figures of the dogs set up here and there. They are used at Mary Rest Cemetery and there are no more geese there. Worth a try.
Bob August 06, 2012 at 08:24 PM
One of my favorite, perhaps apocryphal, Winters's Pond stories was one I heard regarding Les Paul and Jimmy Hendrix playing acoustic guitars together on a bench there in the late 60's. I am not 100% as to its veracity, perhaps the Mahwah Museum or Mr. Pauls son could confirm this neat (perhaps) tale of Mahwah's past?


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