Lake Pine History

It is thought that Lake Pine got its start as a large stream full of bog iron ore that was dug out to supply the nearby Taunton Furnace and Forge. The furnace began firing in 1767 and was supplied by the bog iron ore that is found in streams and swamps in the Pine Barrens. The ore was dug out and floated on boats to the furnace that produced iron for use as pipes, cookware and even cannon balls during the American Revolution. In 1847 Joseph Hinchman inherited the Taunton property and converted the surrounding 2000 acres (including Lake Pine) into cranberry bogs.

One of the more colorful landmarks of the community is the dip in the crossroad of Taunton Boulevard and Falls Road. In the early 1900’s a wagon on its way to Taunton Lake hotel, overturned on the sandy road and spilled its load of whiskey forever labeling the area Whiskey Hollow.

In the 1920s Lake Pine was called “Spirit Vale” as it helped describe the look of the mist that rose off the surface of the water early in the morning. A deed conveyed the land to a development company in 1924. The cranberry bogs were then dredged to make a mile-long lake. Building lots were sold and the construction of log cabins for summer residents began. Medford Township improved Taunton Road from a sandy surface to gravel in 1926 making travel to Lake Pine more accommodating. In 1938 the Lake Pine Development Corporation was started and residential homebuilding began in earnest. Many cabins were winterized during the 1950s and Lake Pine then became a year-round community. Many of the original log cabins predate 1938 and are still in use today.

The rich history of Lake Pine is full of hardships and fortitude. In 1940, the Taunton Lake dam (the adjoining lake) gave out flooding Lake Pine. The only way to travel on Taunton Boulevard was by rowboat. The following year, on April 20, 1941, there was an enormous forest fire that consumed a great swathe of woods bordering Lake Pine and destroyed a home on East Lake Boulevard. Other residents watered down their log cabins to save their homes and to help keep the fire at bay.

Eager for a community building for civic and social purposes, residents formed the Lake Pine Colony Club in 1939. The Colony Club is still thriving today and now handles the management of the community clubhouse, grounds and maintenance of the lake and dam. Lake Pine consists of 477 homes of which about 402 households are Colony Club members.  Lake Pine is a beautiful mile-long lake that boasts beautiful views and is available for Colony Club members to kayak, canoe, swim and fish. There are three beaches along the lake for members to enjoy as well. Colony Club members also help to organize and run various community events throughout the year. One of the largest events held in Lake Pine is Medford Township’s annual Labor Day Parade.

Compiled from Medford, Pioneering Township Medford Historical Society - 1975 and A Self Guided Tour of 63 of Medford’s Historic Sites prepared by the Medford Historic Advisory Board - 2004