The Tavern was located at the intersection of Wanaque Avenue and Hamburg
Turnpike where Federal Square now stands. The Tavern was torn down in 1890 when
the roads were widened. At Federal Square a monument was erected in 1914 to
honor the men who lost their lives in the Spanish American War. Additional
monuments were placed there to honor the men who perished in the Civil War and
World War I & II and the Korean War.
Pompton was included first in Essex and then in Bergen County until 1837 when it
became part of Passaic County. The birth of Pompton Lakes as an independent
community occurred in 1895 when it seceded from Pompton Township, which at the
time also included Bloomingdale, Ringwood, Wanaque and Riverdale.
The first Mayor of Pompton Lakes was H. Julius Smith, owner of Smith's Powder
works on Wanaque Avenue which later became the site of the German Artistic
Weaving Company (now Artistic Identification Systems, Inc.). Mr. Smith was
responsible for the damming of the Wanaque River to form Lake Inez (his
daughter's name.) The Powder Works was sold to DuPont in 1902. DuPont played a
major role in the development of Pompton Lakes.
Many of the historic events in Pompton Lakes will be featured in another part of
this anniversary book, allowing each subject to be explained and illustrated
more fully than would be possible in a brief history of Pompton Lakes.
DID YOU KNOW?
In Europe when the castle guards turned the point of their spears or spikes to
the ground, they indicated to the visitor permission to pass through a gate or
In colonial times, the word "turnpike" comes from the pike or long pole which
barred the way of the traveler until he paid a toll fee. The collector would
then remove the pike and swing or turn the gate, thus permitting the traveler to