THE ROGERENE SECT AT
MOUNTAIN POND, NEW JERSEY
|by M. Balston, Website Editor|
|This page concerns itself with two subjects, which though related, need to be considered separately in the mind of the reader. There exists today in Morris County, New Jersey a lovely spot shown on many recent maps as Lake Rogerine, on most older maps as Lake Rogerene, and on century old maps as Mountain Pond. Up until 1890 this lake was within Roxbury Township, but that year saw the secession of Mount Arlington, and so the body of water is now a few yards outside the Roxbury border. As it sits today, Lake Rogerine is a pond of several acres ringed by pleasant homes, with wooded hills beyond, and boasts an attractive sand beach for summertime use by residents. That's the first subject of this page.|
||But if one were able to travel back 300 years to about 1705, you would see settlers, recently arrived from the Pilgrim Colony of New London, clearing patches of forest for their Log Cabins and small farms. These hardy souls were a devout Christian group known as Rogerenes, named after their founder, John Rogers (1648-1721), a dissenter from the established Congregational Church of Colonial Connecticut . The groups' theology was similar to the Seventh Day Baptists and their practices somewhat like the Quakers. This group of Rogerenes left the main community in Connecticut and journeyed overland with some livestock to New Jersey. The center of the settlement of about 30 families was Mountain Pond, it's name changed around 1912 to Lake Rogerene (or Rogerine), long after the group had left. Their modest farms extended to the southern end of Lake Hopatcong, in what is now the town of Landing, Roxbury Township. The did not build church buildings, but worshiped in homes, or outdoors, and later in a modest schoolhouse they built. They did not seek formal ownership of the land they lived on, but simply dwelt as 'squatters', during a time when land was plentiful, the Native American population in northwest New Jersey was sparse, and settlers were few.|
|By 1780 most had left the area, perhaps disturbed by the Revolutionary
War, some joining another Rogerene group in Waretown, South Jersey,
others heading to Virginia, while still others stayed in the area,
blending in with the general population.
The family names Culver and Zeek in long time residents often indicate Rogerene heritage. For the next 120 years the area would remain quiet, save for the occasional whistle of a Steam Engine traversing the tracks of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad tracks, located just a half mile from the lake. Then around 1910, with a little promotion, a few summer homes started to be built around the waters edge. A swimming beach was built. Some houses were eventually winterized, and year round residents gave Lake Rogerene a modern identity.
This postcard dates from around 1920, and may be 'suspect', since many "Greetings From . . . "
postcards had generic photos and this lake looks a bit large.
Lake Rogerene circa 1930, the "Ledgewood" label not technically accurate,
though understandable in view of it being nearby
A brochure issued about 1920 by a land development company marketing home building lots.
The promotion of these building lots as "Mount Arlington Lakes" instead of just Lake Rogerine, evidently refers to
the " . . . two clear crystal lakes", namely Lake Rogerine and the much smaller pond northeast of the intersection of
today's Orben Drive and Shippenport Road, that pond being unnamed on most maps, but named "Mountain Pond" on a
recent (1998) Alfred Patton Inc. map, thus preserving that name when the larger pond was renamed Lake Rogerine.
historical plaque stands at the entrance to the Lake Rogerine community.
Its wording raises a number of questions.
First, is it Lake Rogerine, as shown on most recent maps, or Rogerene, as shown here? It seems that the recent 'official' spelling uses the 'i'.
Second, the plaque names 1925 as the start of the current community. However, this writer has found an account in the biography "Theodore Frelinghuysen Wolfe", by Mary Wolfe Thompson, where the beginning of the development of Mountain Pond and its name change occurred during the lifetime of her father, who passed in 1915. Perhaps the first homes were not actually built until 1925.
Third, the 1734 settlement date might actually be the origin of the small Rogerene enclave at Schooleys Mountain, about 20 miles west, whereas in a 1890 article, Dr. Wolfe dates the Mountain Pond settlement to before 1708, the year local Lenape Indians sold the land to Europeans. He maintains that the Schooleys Mountain group was different. Seraly & Lyman date the origin of the Mountain Pond group as 1702. Intriguing, and all in need of further research.
A portion of Lake Rogerine, May 2004 (photo by the Editor)
|Information for this page
came from a variety of sources, including:
Beck, Henry C. "TALES AND TOWNS OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY". 1964. Rutgers University Press.
Bolles, John R. & Williams, Anna B. "THE ROGERENES", 1904, Stanhope Press, Boston.
Hosking, Annie S. & Meeker, Harriet "THE HISTORY OF ROXBURY TOWNSHIP" Vol. I & II Roxbury Township Historical Society
Seraly, Ruthann & Lyman, Frances; "OLD HOMES OF ROXBURY TOWNSHIP", Roxbury Township Historical Society
Thompson, Mary Wolfe. "THEODORE FRELINGHUYSEN WOLFE", 1961, privately published
Wolfe, Theodore F. THE ROGERENES, an article in THE DOVER IRON ERA, July 18, 1890, revised and printed in the 1914 Lewis Company History of Morris County.
know Lake Rogerene history and can add to or correct this page,
please contact the Editor at: Editor @ RoxburyNewJersey.com
(just remove the spaces, an anti-spam measure)
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