West Milford, NJ

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Long Pond Ironworks



Nestled in upper Passaic County, New Jersey is the community of West Milford.  A recreational Mecca for summer and winter activities, West Milford has long been a countryside escape for those living and working in the NYC metro area.  Known as "The Heart of The Highlands",  the town is located about 38 miles from New York City and offers the comfort and charm of small town living, while being close by to urban living.  In 2003, Hudson Shakespeare expanded into Passaic County for the first time with a performance of Henry V at the Long Pond Ironworks State Park.  Please click the side link to view park information and some photos of the show.

A winter shot of West Milford City Hall.  (Pictures provided by the West Milford Chamber of Commerce homepage, pictures by Ginny Raue)

The area was first settled by the Lenni Lenape Indians who later sold their land to the English and moved south. Later, English, Dutch, and German settlers realized the potential and wealth of West Milford from trapping and mining and began to develop communities.  The first industry in West Milford came with the discovery of iron ore. The essential resources necessary for the iron industry were moving water and wood which were in abundant supply and furnaces sprung up throughout the town.  Long Pond Iron Works, the area's largest iron processing operation continued work from pre-Revolutionary days war up to the 1950's.

Horse farm on the outskirts of town

Today with its 14,000 acres of park land the community provides year round enjoyment for the weekend enthusiast with activities ranging from boating and swimming to ice fishing.  The town's largest feature is Greenwood Lake, which the Lenni Lenape Indians called  "Papeek Guneu" which meant "The Long Pond". How the lake got its name "Greenwood" remains a mystery to this day. 

A shot of Greenwood Lake at sunset.

Other notable facts concerning the town: 

"Gloria", the first rocket-powered airmail flight took place on Feb. 23, 1936. It was launched from the frozen lake near Sterling Forest and crashed in NJ not too far away.

Baseball Great, Babe Ruth, owned a house in Sterling Forest and spent time boating on the lake and hunting in the forests.

For more information on the community of West Milford please click here:

For more information regarding the area's history click here at North Jersey Highlands Historical Society.


Click on this link to view the Long Pond Iron Works page.


To view other HSC Venues:   

College Misericordia - Dallas, PA

Hackensack, NJ

Hoboken, NJ

Jersey City, NJ

Kenilworth, NJ New York, NY
Secaucus, NJ South Orange, NJ
Stratford, CT  Union City, NJ

West Milford, NJ


Send mail to jciccarelli@hudsonshakespeare.org with questions or comments about this web site.
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