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Once called Cranberry Bog and then Cranberry Reservoir, Cranberry Lake was originally formed in 1830 to serve as a reservoir for the Morris Canal.

In the 1920’s, the Cranberry Lake Development Company built vacation homes at Cranberry Lake. Seasonal visitors came by automobile on the old Highway 31 (now 206) and on the Erie Lackawanna Railroad whose station sat on the lake’s eastern shore. The first station at Cranberry Lake was built in 1898 and at its peak, the Railroad was delivering a thousand visitors a weekend.

In 1902 the Lackawanna developed a peninsula on Cranberry Lake into a parkland resort where city folk could come on Sundays for a one-day excursion into the countryside. A 30-acre picnicking ground was located in what is now Frenches Grove, offering an amusement park, rowboat rentals, fishing, sailing and regattas.

In 1903, a large hotel was built to accommodate vacationers and offer liquor sales and a large dance hall. By 1911 however, the holiday crowds had degraded into drunken revelers and the charm of Cranberry Lake had disappeared, to both the excursionists and the locals around it. In 1910, much to the delight of many local residents, the Hotel burned down and soon after the original footbridge was torn out.

While tourism experienced a decline, the residents of the vacation homes continued to seek recreational facilities and services. In 1924, with the support of the Development Company, these property owners established the Cranberry Lake Community Club.

In 1925 the new club completed the erection of a clubhouse on the lot previously occupied by the hotel. In addition to hosting summer activities, the clubhouse would house a Post Office for many years.

The club also began to maintain lake access trails designated by the Development Company for use of property owners without lake-front property. In about 1929 a third footbridge was erected just next to the clubhouse and bathing beach property (the second was built in the early twenties and only lasted a few years).

This new bridge was a suspension bridge that would continue to connect Frenches Grove residents to the 206 shoreline through the present day.




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