Irene Re-Creates Lake Watsessing, Bloomfield

BY  |  Sunday, Aug 28, 2011 12:21pm  |  COMMENTS (16)

Back in 1865, there was a Lake Watsessing (vintage photos from Frank Gerard Godleswki; Irene photos from Caroline Hayes):


  1. POSTED BY cfrommtc  |  August 28, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    Nice pics from Caroline Hayes!

  2. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 28, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    Its a re created lake…Thats so great to be able to see what it actually looked like before Watsessing Lake was drained to become a park. How beautiful it was and would be!

  3. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 28, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    AMAZING! Perhaps someday it will have to return to its natural existance.

  4. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 28, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    What if the accelleraation of the consequences of global warming make all of our waterways return above ground…all of the Baristas flooding immages from today’s posts are actually the locations of natural waterways…impressive!

  5. POSTED BY pat gilleran  |  August 28, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    A video of flooding in Bloomfield courtesy of WBMA

  6. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  August 28, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    I agree, frankgg, it should have been left a lake.
    Now if we could only return Willowbrook Mall to it’s original appearance…

    PS frankgg – did you read about the Yonkers project ?- now they are tearing out the paving and culvert for the downtown part of the Saw Mill River and restoring it to it’s original beauty, as a park.

  7. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 28, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    Maybe the increased volume of natural waters during storms will make the present underground culvert and sewer systems un sustainable and obsolete. I stared at my raging brook all night long to see if I had to take action. What is remarkable was that the volume of the waters increased even though it wasn’t raining yet. It seems that the water tables have much more water to deal with from the natural spring sources. My whole property seemed to percolate water last night.

  8. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  August 28, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    I’d like them to open ( where possible ) the buried streams and ponds in Manhattan. Let them breathe again and let’s restore the banks with native plants. Markers should be placed with the original names of the waterways, and the markers should include some brief history notes.

    It was a bad move when they filled in the Collect Pond (now Foley Square ), early Manhattan’s prime source of drinking water. To this day all the buildings on Foley Square have their basement pumps running 24/7.

  9. POSTED BY PAZ  |  August 28, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    What were our forefathers thinking????……$$$$$$$$$.

  10. POSTED BY mightysqueak  |  August 28, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    I love this detail of the old map! I’m sorry that the street names are cut off–I’d like to figure out exactly where it was. I can see it goes to B’field Ave. The top right edge of the lake looks like it might have shaped the weird contour Conger Street.

    Is there anyway I could see a copy of the whole map? Perhaps the whole map is viewable at the Bloomfield Historic Society?

  11. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  August 28, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    Herb, I know you’re not too keen when it comes to old growth forests ( especially near Seton Hall ) but will you be attending the ribbon cutting ceremony?

  12. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 28, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Spiro T. Q., I always think of how Yonker’s urban development panned out when unsuccessful development decisions are made around here. Yonkers has a beautiful view and a valuable vintage housing stock like we do..but OMG look what happened! There is good waterfront development in Yonkers, house museums, Richard Haas murals in the city center, beautiful vintage buildings and more, so if they uncover the waterways and make parks, that would be a positive feature. (I think its so funny how the Saw Mill River and the Bronx River are just little brooks…and during the revolution, the British saw the Bronx River on a map and planned a big naval invasion without actually knowing that it was just a small trickle!) Opening waterways in NYC is an interesting idea, but I wonder if they could really be maintained correctly…In the mean time…perhaps virtual waterways as on location video projections of clean flowing water. Thank you for the link.

    Pat, I have jpeg files of the Llewellyn Haskell 1856 map of Bloomfield. I can email them to you and also give cd copies to the Bloomfield Historical Society. Its similar but more complete than the 1857 map in the link.

  13. POSTED BY pat gilleran  |  August 28, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    Frank that would be great- I’ll friend you on facebook and will send my e-mail address- we have some friends in common!

  14. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 29, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Yes! Pat we DO have friends in commom and Charley who I havent seen in a few thousand years!!! Wonderful!!!

  15. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 29, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    My typing error Liz…the map is the Llewellyn Haskell 1856 Map of Bloomfield.

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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