For generations of Morris County area residents, Memorial Day wasn’t just another holiday, it signaled the opening of the landmark Bertrand Island Amusement Park on Lake Hopatcong in Mount Arlington.
Although nothing remains of the park today except a stone marker, the Morris County Historical Society invites you to relive the joy this former landmark brought to the millions who enjoyed the rides, beaches and events that were offered at Bertrand Island for more than 60 years.
On Tuesday, May 7, at 1:30 p.m., MCHS will offer a matinee showing of “Greetings from Bertrand Island,” a 45-minute film commemorating the history of the amusement park.
On Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m., MCHS will offer an encore showing of the film along with a Q&A session featuring Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum Director Martin Kane, who will provide a glimpse into the magic of this former landmark.
Begun as a bathing beach at the turn of the century, by the 1920s Bertrand Island had expanded to include 20 rides, including the Wildcat, a wooden roller coaster, an airplane swing, bumper cars, a Skee-Ball arcade, dance hall, and cafeteria with picnic area.
The carousel was a famous Illions Monarch II Supreme, which was later sold to Circus World in Florida. Today, you find an original horse from the carousel is on permanent display at the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum.
By the early 1980s, Bertrand Island Amusement Park closed due to competition from larger theme parks and the evolution of Lake Hopatcong into an all-year-round community.
MCHS is located at Acorn Hall, 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown. Please RSVP for the May 9 event by Tuesday, May 7. For more information, call MCHS at 973-267-3465 or visit MorrisCountyHistory.org.
Founded in 1945, MCHS is a member-supported nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the history of Morris County.