The photos were taken either by or for Herbert Hapgood, the original Mountain Lakes developer, for marketing purposes. Some of them were given to the home owners at purchase. When Hapgood gave a copy of a photo to an owner he also kept a copy for his file.
Most of the photos look very professional so it is likely that Hapgood hired a veteran photographer with a large format camera to take the pictures. The wife of the first mayor of Mountain Lakes was a photographer and some of the photos were possibly taken by her. They were clearly taken over a long period of time because the seasons and the foliage are quite different among the pictures.
The house numbers were assigned by Hapgood to the houses as they were built and do not relate to current addresses. Many photos have builders numbers on them used by Hapgood for his filing system. The house construction dates are drawn from old records.
The photos were assembled in the 1920's when the Mountain Lakes Historical Society was formed. The collection has grown over the years as home owners find photos in attics and the like. The collection has been carefully protected and maintained by the HPC because it is a rich trove of Mountain Lakes history. The collection is now quite voluminous and is currently housed in the Mountain Lakes Library.
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