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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sussex in Sussex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Gift of a State Park

High Point State Park

 
 
The Gift of a State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2009
1. The Gift of a State Park Marker
Inscription. High Point – One of New Jersey’s First State Parks
Like many early parks, High Point was privately owned for many years. During the early 1900s it was the summer estate of Anthony Kuser and his wife, Susie Dryden Kuser. Senator John F. Dryden, founder of Prudential Life Insurance, also owned a substantial amount of the land. Devoted conservationists, the Kusers and Drydens ultimately decided that their estates should become a public park for all to enjoy.

High Point State Park was dedicated in 1923 as a nature reserve for the public and to protect wildlife and water resources. High Point was one of the first state parks in New Jersey, and served as a model for other parks.

The CCC Helped Shape High Point State Park
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program, operated a camp in High Point State Park from 1933 to 1942. Companies 216 and 1280 lived and worked in the park and were responsible for many of the improvements seen at High Point today. They built Park Ridge and Sawmill Roads, and Sawmill and Steenkill Lakes. They also did extensive trail work, and built three Appalachian Trail shelters.

Early Park Design Can Still Be Seen at High Point
Today, High Point still looks much like it did in the early 1900s. It
Markers at High Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2009
2. Markers at High Point State Park
Four markers are found at this location. The "The Gift of a State Park" marker can be seen on the right in the photo.
has changed little from the original plan that was laid out by the Olmsted Brothers and implemented by the CCC and the High Point Park Commission. To honor and preserve this example of early park design, High Point was placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 1996.

High Point: The Park
1923
    High Point State Park is established. Olmsted Brothers prepare a plan for the park.
1928-1930     The High Point Monument is constructed.
1929     The Stock Market crashes bringing on the Depression.
1932-1944     The CCC builds roads, dams, and trails at High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest.
1937     The construction of the Appalachian Trail stretching from Maine to Georgia is completed.
1939     John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is published.
1939-1945     World War II
1946     Eight thousand Americans own television sets.
1962     Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring.
1963     President Kennedy is assassinated.
1965     High Point’s 800-acre Kuser Natural Area is created – the first in NJ.
1969     Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
1970     The first Earth Day is celebrated. NJ Department of Environmental Protection is created.
1996     High Point State Park is placed on the State
High Point Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2009
3. High Point Markers
Marker is located in a group of four markers in a picnic area at High Point State Park.
and National registers of Historic Places.
 
Erected by State of New Jersey.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
 
Location. 41° 19.07′ N, 74° 40.133′ W. Marker is in Sussex, New Jersey, in Sussex County. Marker is on New Jersey Route 23, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located off the loop road in High Point State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Sussex NJ 07461, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. High Point: An Early Haven for Sightseers & Sportsmen (here, next to this marker); Public Parks: Refuge & Recreation for All (here, next to this marker); The Kuser Lodge: An Inn, A Mansion, A Museum (here, next to this marker); High Point Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Indian Raid (approx. 3 miles away in New York); Trolley Line (approx. 3.1 miles away in New York); Machackemech Burying Ground (approx. 3.3 miles away in New York); a different marker also named Indian Raid (approx. 3.3 miles away in New York). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sussex.
 
More about this marker. Two photographs appear on the marker. One shows “High Point Civilian
View from the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2009
4. View from the Marker
The High Point Monument and Lake Marcia can be seen in this photo taken from the marker. The view looks very much like the picture on the marker.
Conservation Corps enrollees at the entrance to Camp Kuser in High Point State Park.” Another shows a view from the location of the marker, and has a caption of “From where you stand today, the view of Lake Marcia and the monument is much like the one created by early park designers and captured on this postcard more than 60 years ago.”
 
Also see . . .  High Point State Park. Outdoorplaces.com website. (Submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Natural FeaturesNotable Places
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 759 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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