Cedar Lake History
Discover the rich history of Cedar Lake, from its origins as Cranberry Lake to a beloved summer retreat and residential community. This enchanting lake has transformed from a hub of ice harvesting to a haven for New Yorkers and celebrities. Uncover the journey of Cedar Lake, evolving from a commercial venture to a cherished community, and celebrate its enduring legacy.
Cedar Lake was originally a small, natural, spring-fed body of water called Cranberry Lake (later Silver Lake). In its early days, the lake was known for its abundant silver moss, which was used to pack the ice that was harvested, sold, and shipped to nearby metropolitan areas. The lake was eventually dammed and its size increased to improve the ice harvesting. In 1906, Cedar Lake was purchased by Mr. M. W. Raynes and George B. Wright under their company, Cedar Lake Park, Inc.
The developers marketed their property as a summer resort and built cabins, lodges, and camps for its new residents. Many wealthy New Yorkers vacationed at the lake during the summer, including prominent figures such as Babe Ruth, Sarah Frances Landau, and her husband David Landau (he performed with Mae West). During 1909-1911, Broadway producer/actor Wright Lorimer resided briefly and built a small outdoor amphitheater on the western hillside for impromptu performances. Later in 1954, jazz pianist John Guarnieri (who later performed with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw) sang in our clubs’ summer production of “Flight To Rio.”
Cedar Lake Park, Inc. went bankrupt in 1924 and the Cedar Lake Property Owners (CLPO) was incorporated and eventually took over ownership of the lake, roads, and certain lots from the prior owners. As transportation improved and major highways were built through Denville, houses were built on most of the lots surrounding the lake. Today over 350 families live in the Cedar Lake community.