The GSYC is set high upon the mountain banks overlooking Lake Hopatcong. Its clean water and breathtaking views made the lake popular throughout the New York metropolitan area, once train and trolley travel became available. As dozens of hotels, lakeside mansions and cottages were built, the area’s population grew steadily. From the 1950’s to the present, the number of year-round residents has surged.
The Garden State Yacht Club was formed as a social club in 1948 and moved to its present location in 1949 with the acquisition of the Lambert estate near Ingram Cove.
The GSYC blossomed during the 1950’s in the beautiful Victorian mansion. Younger children learned to swim in the lake while teenagers claimed the large room of the Victorian boathouse. Meanwhile, their parents enjoyed weekend dinners, card games, social events and dinners. From the 1960’s through the late 1980’s, sailing and powerboat races dominated the waterfront — culminating in the Labor Day regatta races and trophies. In 1965, the GSYC Clubhouse added the pool and upper patio area. At the waterfront, powerboats became more popular, which encouraged waterskiing and tubing.
The electric motorized lift, also called a funicular or “tram”, a counterbalanced uphill rail car, was added early in the Club’s history. The tram continues to transport up to six people as a welcome alternative to climbing the many stairs from the lake area to the clubhouse.
1980’s-to the present
The end of an era came on December 6, 1984, when an electrical fire of unknown origin burned our beloved GSYC Clubhouse to the ground. With incredible dedication and hard work, several members spearheaded the effort to rebuild the Club House, led by Past Commodore Hank Steinman.
Although the elegant Victorian mansion of the past was replaced by a modern structure in 1986, the allure of Lake Hopatcong and the fun times shared by members never gets old.