NHRR WTBY wrote:There's a story told by the folks who spend the summer on Tabor Lake of a derailment that occurred there many years ago. They say a piece of rolling stock is still in the bottom of the lake, near Mount Tabor station. I find this hard to believe, as Tabor "Lake" is really more of a pond. Does anyone know if there's any truth to this tale?
I have firsthand information for you on this topic. I am the grandson of the Rev. L.F. Nichols, who was one of the founders of the Tabor Lake Corporation and also served as its first president. Our family owned 2 cabins at The Lake for many decades and I spent every one of my childhood summers there well into my 20s. The link to my Tabor Lake "web scrapbook" is found earlier in this thread.
Here's what I've got for you:
1) The Lake is now called Powder Mill Pond because of a NJ Transit project that mistakenly called it that. It is (still) officially called Tabor Lake in its charter and that remains true to this very day. Only outsiders call it Powder Mill Pond - mainly because that's what Mapquest and other online mapping services call it. Which makes my grandfather’s catch-phrase “There’s No Place Like Tabor Lake” true in a way that I’m sure he never intended!
2) Lake Lenore is actually quite frequently (and mistakenly) referred to as "Mount Tabor Lake" and is listed as such, in error, on many mapmakers’ maps. There isn't any such place called "Mount Tabor Lake" --- it's called TABOR LAKE. Which is now known as Powder Mill Pond to the outside world.
3) The actual Powder Mill was located more towards the center of The Lake. There was a wall from that original structure that still existed in the middle of the lake - into the 80s, at least. If you knew where it was, you could swim out to it and stand on top of it. I did this many times as a kid.
4) The Locomotive you speak of did, in fact, crash into the lake. The exact year is not known but according to my father, it had to have happened prior to 1960 because he remembers it being there prior to my birth. My father, also a Tabor Lake Corporation President for several years, was the son of my grandfather (who was one of The Founders). I can tell you from viewing it firsthand as a kid - and then as a teen and then into my 20s - that you could see the entire bottom of the train with its axels and wheels clearly visible to anyone who boated along the water on top of it. This was along the shoreline where The Tree used to be. As you cross the hump of the tracks and head down the little hill to the bridge, it was just off to the right. The wheels were only about a foot or so into the water and you could touch them or hit them with a boat oar.
5) Other links for Tabor Lake History if you’re interested:
(about whether or not the roads inside the Tabor Lake property were private)
("There's No Place Like Tabor Lake" --- a history of Tabor Lake)
(Lake Lenore, map errors, "Mount Tabor Lake")
Hope this has been helpful! My email address is [email protected]
if you have any additional questions.
Jim Ward-Nichols [Northwest NJ Native]
Lawrence, Kansas, USA
p.s. --- I found this forum because I started getting referrals from it when someone put up the link. So I took a look and thought I might be able to help you out. Nice meeting you all!