The Women’s Athletic Association is sponsoring
Bunco de Mayo
May 4, 2018 at 7:30 PM at the Clubhouse
Bunco is a simple dice game where you win prizes.
Complimentary sangria, chips and Texas Caviar!
Donations to Puzzle Farms (a local non-profit) are encouraged – in lieu of admission fee.
BRING A BOTTLE OF WINE, come down to win prizes and have fun with your neighbors and friends.
Please send a message to Curnyndj@gmail.com so we know how much sangria to make!
See you there!
Dear Cupsaw Members,
As 2017 comes to an end, the CLIA Board would like to thank all the volunteers, groups, committees, and members who gave so generously of their time and expertise. One of our most important and final projects for this year, the resurfacing of the deep end wall by the diving area, was partially funded by WAA (Women’s Athletic Association). A big thank you to that organization! Please continue to check the website and email newsletters for fun winter activities.
We wish you all “Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year!”
The CLIA Board
Ringwood is located in the heart of the Ramapo Mountains at the eastern end of New Jersey. It is known as the Highlands and contains what geologists consider to be the oldest rock formations in the world.
The origin of the Borough’s name is thought to have been selected because the location is ‘ringed’ with wooded hills, or it may have been taken from our present sister city; Ringwood, Hampshire, England.
Before the European settlement of this region, the Leni-Lenape and a sub-tribe, the Minsi Indians, dwelt in the Pompton area. Ringwood was their hunting and fishing area and they would camp here for months at a time. Campsites were in Stonetown and in the State Park. The arrival of the Europeans, notably the Dutch and the English, signaled the end of Indian Life in this area.
Sometime around 1740, Cornelius Board, a Welsh miner who had erected a small furnace in Sterling Pond, New York, and the Ogdens of New York, each purchased land in Ringwood. While the Boards’ operation was small, the Ogden’s erected a furnace in 1742 and became the first volume producer of iron in the area. The furnace also produced shot for the French and Indian War. The Ogden’s enterprise named ‘The Ringwood Company’ is still in existence.
In 1765 Peter Hasenclever bought the Ringwood Company and established Ringwood as the headquarters for a far-flung industrial empire and conglomerate. He created several ironworks in the area, attracting over 500 workers from Germany and England along with current citizens and both enslaved and free black citizens, in addition to Native Americans. Hasenclever lived in Ringwood near where the present Ringwood Manor stands.
1771 saw the arrival of Robert Erskine, F.R.S., a brilliant Scottish engineer who took over the management of the Company. In 1777, George Washington appointed Erskine as Geographer and Surveyor General. He produced upwards of 250 maps, which were Erskine’s contribution to the war effort.
Ringwood was not unknown to General Washington. He visited Ringwood at least four times during the Revolutionary War and admired the location for its scenic beauty. On one occasion, in the company of Mrs. Washington, he planted an oak at Erskine’s tomb; and later, during his presidency he proposed a 200,000-acre National Nature Preserve of which Ringwood area was a part.
Ringwood was never confiscated during the Revolutionary Ware; it does not appear on the lists of confiscated lands in New Jersey or of the federal government. The land remained in American Iron Company hands until 1804. In 1807, Martin J. Ryerson purchased Ringwood and Long Pond. Ryerson produced shot for the US war effort during the War of 1812. His sons, lacking the business acumen of their father, sold the property in 1854 to Abram S. Hewitt, agent of the Cooper Hewitt & Company, the principal shareholder was Peter Cooper. They bought Ringwood for its vast reserves of iron and operated the mine until 1931, providing iron for the Civil War and other large projects like the US Capitol Dome and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Mines were sold to the US Government for possible use during World War II. After an expeditionary of some four million dollars, the War over, the mines were sold. The mines operated intermittently until they permanently closed in 1957.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the population of Ringwood consisted of several wealthy family estates consisting of holdings of a few hundred acres to the 33,000 acre estate named ‘The Forge and Manor of Ringwood.’ Here homes were provided for mine workers and farmhands in the company-owned housing known today as Upper Ringwood. Today, much of this land has passed from the private sector into the public trust, retaining the scenic beauty that is Ringwood.
The Borough of Ringwood was incorporated on February 23, 1918, taken from a ‘portion of the Township of Pompton.’ The first organized meeting of the Borough Council took place on May 6, 1918 in the existing Borough Hall which was provided by the Ringwood Company. This parcel was transferred to permanent Borough custody upon the death of Erskine Hewitt in 1936.
In the late 1920s and into the early 1930s, the Ringwood Company reorganized to a land company that advertised lake-front lots with vacation cabins. The beautiful location attracted city dwellers for ‘weekends in the country.’ This initiated the need for road, electricity, police and fire protection.
Construction of a 29-billion-gallon capacity reservoir commenced in 1920 and was completed in 1928. Even though two-thirds of the Wanaque Reservoir lay in Ringwood proper, waters were directed south until recently, when the Borough was permitted to pump water for its own use. In the dry season, the Wanaque River valley and the foundations and roads can be seen.
After WWII, the population of Ringwood grew rapidly as a result of development companies promoting the area as both a summer and year-round community. Today, the population of Ringwood is nearly 14,000; and yet she retains her scenic beauty!
The story of Cupsaw Lake is very much a story of Ringwood. It begins with the activities of Cornelius Board, agent for the British Lord Sterling, who in 1736, was the first to realize the potential of the North Jersey Highlands. Board erected a small furnace for the manufacture of iron from the rich deposits discovered by friendly Indians. Ringwood had it all — the iron ore, the water power, and the virgin forests which fueled the iron works. Board sold some of his holdings to David Ogden of Newark, who formed the Ringwood Company in 1742.
In 1764, Peter Hasenclever, a German agent for a London-based company, bought the holdings of the Ringwood Company. He imported German iron workers, forgemen, furnacemen, charcoal burners, and masons to work in this new country. The names of some of these craftsmen — Mann, DeGroat, Van Dunk and De Freese — remain a part of present-day Ringwood.
Recognizing Ringwood’s potential, Hasenclever’s ambitions soon outstripped the money supply of his backers. In 1767, he was replaced by Robert Erskine, who was sent by the London company to straighten out the company’s tangled affairs in Ringwood, Greenwood Lake, and other locations. Erskine was a Scottish mining engineer and cartographer who cast his lot with the Americans during the Revolution. He became Surveyor-General to General George Washington during that time, and under his direction the iron mines produced products essential to the Continental cause.
After the Revolution, the iron mines lay idle. And then, in 1807, Martin J. Ryerson of Pompton bought the Ringwood mines. Unfortunately, after his death in 1839, his sons, who inherited the ironworks, went into bankruptcy. In 1853, the Ringwood iron mines and furnaces were purchased by Peter Cooper, the New York industrialist who founded Cooper Union. He was the owner of the Trenton Iron Company, managed by Abram S. Hewitt. Together they erected a company town consisting of a general store, a tavern, a church and multifamily clapboard dwellings for the employees. It was this reactivation of the Ringwood iron industry that drew the Ramapo Mountain People and colored pioneers from Hackensack into the Wanaque River Valley. During the Civil War, Cooper, Hewitt & Company supplied gun carriages for the Union army. However, the difficulty of shipping out of the area would prove to be the ultimate downfall of the company’s iron business.
In the nineteenth century, while the iron mines were still operating, several wealthy families built large estates in Ringwood. Abram Hewitt built the present Ringwood Manor House near the first manor house built by Peter Hasenclever. Francis Lynn Stetson, a corporate lawyer for JP Morgan, built the current Skylands Manor. These estates and the farms around them attracted more of the Ramapo Mountain people, as they supplied work while the iron mines were declining.
In 1905, the Ringwood Company was officially incorporated to provide for the administration of its large properties, now included in the Erskine Preserve. The Ringwood Company, seeing the transformation of the area from colonial iron plantation to nineteenth-century millionaires* estates to possible suburban development, was concerned that this *only suburban sector* of the New York Metropolitan district remain unexploited and unspoiled, and grow and develop in such a way as to promote its maximum possibilities for recreational and residential use. It began to oversee the development of the area, using as its base its old office in the Ringwood Manor.
In 1927, the Ringwood Company, under the leadership of Ogden Blackfar Hewitt, was a true real estate holding firm, and began to put into operation a plan to capitalize on its tremendous land holdings. A dam was built at the overflow of what was called Tice*s Pond in the vicinity of the Small Community House (now called Little Beach Clubhouse), thus creating Lake Erskine, an enlarged natural lake of about 90 acres.
Cupsaw Lake and Upper Lake came into existence around 1932. Dams were built, creating a 33-acre lake at Upper and a 65-acre lake at Cupsaw. In the late 1920*s and early 1930*s, the Ringwood Company began advertising lakefront lots for vacation cabins. The Ringwood Company*s own sawmill, located on Lake Erskine, supplied the logs, hauled by oxen, which were used in building the first log cabins.
In 1932, metropolitan papers carried the Ringwood Company’s advertisement: ‘Lakefront lots, $2000 each.’ In Greenwood Lake, beautiful lots were going for only $95, but property in Ringwood was special and worth the extra.
Erskine Lake was touted as the sportsman’s paradise. Here were small cabins for the man who liked to hunt in the autumn or fish in the spring from the brooks that gushed with water from the winter snows. Cupsaw attracted its share of sportsmen, but it was also noticed by those who were interested in relaxation and comradeship. It was like a private club where there were no fences and no clearly defined boundaries.
The predecessor of Erskine Lakes Property Owners’ Association was the Erskine Lakes Country Club. It was formed in 1926 to promote good fellowship and recreation among the residents of the Erskine Lakes. The people who settled here, building and improving their summer homes, were chiefly middle class business and professional people who were able to afford two homes. They were generally well educated and helped to give the lakes a sense of stability and prestige. The Ringwood Company had an agreement with the Country Club that the Company would still own the property called ‘Erskine Lakes’, but residents were permitted to use it and the facilities upon it, such as the New Community House, the Old Community House, tennis and beaches.
In 1930, Ringwood’s total population hovered around 1,000, and at that time there were 13 bungalows in the Erskine area. By 1933, the Country Club boasted of 100 members from Cupsaw and Erskine.
Up to 1935 there was always a gateman present at the Erskine entrance along Ringwood Avenue to ask the destination of travelers coming into the lakes. For several years, a sign bearing the notice ‘Restricted Christian Community’ stood at the entrance. This was removed in 1939 due to political events in Europe.
The Cupsaw Environmental Committee works hard to make Cupsaw the best lake it can be. Here are just some of the efforts this group has undertaken:
- Goose Management-
- Kayak chases early in the morning to discourage geese
- Goose patrol to clean up after the occasional goose visitor in Spring
- Solar powered blinker light at lanes to discourage bedding down at night
- Back up USDA contract for removal, as a last resort. (Hasn’t been needed)
- Weed Management-
- Herbicide treatments in April and May
- “Weed rope” beyond the 3rd dock to catch dying weeds
- Canoe pick up of floating weeds around weed ropes and lanes
- Herbicide booster in June in shallow areas
- Algae Management-
- Aeration system to reduce internal phosphorus release
- Alum treatments in May and June to drop out nutrients (2016 & 2017)
- Canoe pick up of floating filamentous algae in swim areas
- Introduction of beneficial bacteria (June 2017)
- Copper Sulphate treatments in July and August as necessary
- Watershed Management
- Rain Garden (by Boy Scouts) near Volleyball court to slow erosion from courts
- Encouragement to pump septics regularly
- Encouragement to use lawn fertilizer sparingly
- Water Circulation
- Ensuring paddle wheel operation which is key to beach water quality
- Use of water movers near lanes and in deep cove areas
- Lake Testing and logging
- Weekly State testing for coliform count (always way below criteria)
- Monthly testing for algae presence by our aeration company
- Periodic testing by our own committee in our own lab
- Near daily testing and logging Secchi depth, temp, and goose sightings
- Four years of data logging to verify results of lake treatment measures
- Meetings and Outreach
- Monthly Environmental Committee Meetings
- Meetings with Erskine and Skyline environmental committees every other month
- Participation at NJ Coalition of Lake Assn’s meetings (4 times annually)
- Member of board of directors of NJ Coalition of Lake Assn’s
As a result of these efforts:
- Our State testing of beach water is regularly <10 for coliform, <200 is the requirement
- Our Secchi disk clarity has been improving year to year for 4 years
- Our lake swimmers and sailors have had fewer weeds to contend with
- We no longer contend with goose droppings on our beach
However, we can’t get too confident; we are dealing with nature. It is a lake, we will have weeds and algae, but we need to keep up with our best efforts.
Come join us! Like Cupsaw Lake on facebook!