TRIPLE LAKES DUDE RANCH, Succasunna, New Jersey
A Dude Ranch, with Horses, in Succasunna? Believe it 'Parder!
Research and text by the
For those City Folks who desired a country experience, Triple Lake Ranch opened around 1912 alongside the "Lakes" just north of Main Street of Succasunna near the Randolph border. Novels had romanticized the image of the 'Cowboy', and the new middle class wanted their fill of "ropin & ridin".
The several lakes in that area were the old sand pits that were used by several industries, now unused, filled with water and starting to see vegetation on the shore.
The Ranch location was behind today's 'Suburban Furniture', off Main Street in Succasunna.
With the popularity of Movie "Westerns", this circa 1940 postcard featured "Instruction for the Dudes"
An aerial view shows the horse stables, corral, main house and bungalow residences
A dozen horse wranglers circa 1950, ready for a Trail Ride
strange to young people today, but matchbooks for smokers were a
very common way to advertise up until the 1970's. This one for
Triple Lake is circa 1955, and calls out: "Hey There Tenderfoot,
C'mon down to the Ranch and have fun in real western style". It
promised Horseback Riding, Instruction, Swimming, Tennis, Excellent
Food & Square Dancing. In these days before most had TV, organized
socializing was very big.
In order to understand the clientele the ranch sought to reach, notice the phrase "NON-SECTARIAN" on the cover at left. Even through the 1950s, prejudice barred Jewish and some Catholic families from some resorts, boating clubs and hotels in the Lake Hopatcong and Lake Mohawk - Sparta area. Their ads used coded words for exclusion like "exclusive", "Christian Clientele" or similar. In response some establishments sought out Jewish vacationers, the phrase "NON-SECTARIAN" communicated that. As a result, Triple Lake became a gathering spot for them, coming from the nearby Jewish area of the time: Dover, Mt. Freedom, White Meadow Lake and others further east. Many Jewish young people who were staff at Triple Lake, or met at the Ranch were eventually married. The building was even rented out for High Holy Day Services in the early 1960s by the new Temple Shalom, before they had their own facility.
This small ad appeared in the New York Post in August 1947.
The "Long Holiday Weekend" was the Jewish holiday of
Rosh Hashanah-New Years. The ad featured "70 horses,
Free Riding Instruction, Boating, 'warm, friendly informal atmosphere, marvelous meals.
Girl on horse at Triple Lakes Ranch, c. 1948
By the mid 1960's a swimming pool had been installed, with stories told of many couple meeting here.
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