Parsippany-Troy Hills is a town that is rich with history, and we love to reflect on how things have changed over the years. Read on as Peter Zablocki, Vice President of the Denville Historical Society, takes us on a trip back in time.
Route 80 at Cherry Hill Road
In 1970, Parsippany was home to four state roads, Route 280, 287, 10, and 53. By 1973 it could finally add one of the most expansive federal infrastructure projects in the nation’s history to its boundaries, Route 80. Once the construction ended – pictured above in 1971 at Cherry Hill Road in Parsippany – the road became Morris County’s main east to west route. While work on the 2,909-mile highway began in the late 1950s, it would not be completed until the last 68 miles were constructed in New Jersey in 1973. And while Parsippany newspaper editorials from the time expressed some reservations about the construction of the famed highway, even those who wrote them could not deny Parsippany’s industrial growth and accessibility being directly tied to the state’s major arteries running through their township.
Some would say that reading and the beach are a perfect combination—and in the case of Lake Parsippany, that motto could not have been any more genuine. In the early 1930s, the executive board of the New York Daily Mirror (the Mirror Holding Co.) devised a plan to purchase a large tract of land in Parsippany, New Jersey. After a year of excavating nearly 160 acres and constructing a dam on the Eastman’s Brook, the company formed Lake Parsippany. Anyone could purchase one of the 7,916 lots available—there was only one catch. To receive one’s parcel measuring 20×100 feet, the individual had to agree to a six-month subscription to the Daily Mirror. One can only wonder how many parents watching their kids swim in the below picture from 1941 entertained themselves on the shore with a good-ole newspaper.
Peter Zablocki is a local historian, author, and educator. He can be reached at peterzablocki.com.