The Tragic Story Behind The Village That Was Flooded To Make Way For New Jersey's Round Valley Reservoir
We don’t want to sell. Those were the words said by many New Jerseyans when the state came to appraise their property decades ago. The response they were given? You have no choice. The Round Valley Reservoir needed to be built to meet the growing demands for water in the area. While we reap the benefits of Round Valley today, its creation was heartbreaking to residents who called the (now flooded) valley home.
But there’s still so much more to this story. A pipeline was to be built, to supply busy cities like Newark with water. After the project began, Newark and nearby towns backed out. Corruption was involved, along with the mafia, and someone even ended up in witness protection. You can learn more about that, and hear stories from former residents in the incredible (under 30-minute) documentary below, uploaded to YouTube by Media 523. It was written and produced by Eric Althoff and David Kuznicki. It’s a must-watch for New Jersey history lovers.
While we enjoy the many reservoirs in New Jersey for recreation, water sports, and outdoor adventures, we don’t always know the story behind the creation of these reservoirs. Unfortunately, the Round Valley Reservoir history tells a story that often gets overlooked. Have you been to Round Valley Reservoir? Were you aware of its history?
Share your experience with the reservoir, then, check out the story behind the underground city in Round Valley NJ’s eerie Bermuda Triangle.
More to Explore
Round Valley New Jersey History
How many reservoirs are in New Jersey?
It's difficult to know exactly how many reservoirs are scattered throughout the Garden State, but estimates put the total number at over 709! From Round Valley Reservoir - one of the largest artificial freshwater lakes in the United States - to Greenwood Lake, only a short drive away from New York City, New Jersey is home to some truly remarkable bodies of water. Here are a few of the most popular reservoirs in New Jersey:
- Sylvan Lake
- Tomahawk Lake
- Round Valley Reservoir
- Woodcliff Lake
- White Meadow Lake
- Lake Como
- Highland Lake
How deep is Round Valley Reservoir in New Jersey?
The reservoir in Round Valley New Jersey is 180 feet deep. That makes it the second-deepest lake in New Jersey. The reservoir covers around 2,350 acres and is a popular lake for fishing, kayaking, and other small-craft boating. Swimming, jet skiing, and waterskiing are restricted, however.
What town is under Round Valley Reservoir?
The remains of the township of Clinton, New Jersey is under Round Valley Reservoir. The valley was flooded in 1960 against the wishes of the local population who had been there for generations.
What is Round Valley New Jersey's History before it became a reservoir?
Centuries ago the Round Valley area was inhabited by Lenni Lenape Indians who lived in parts of the United States and Canada. When Europeans expanded into the area, the Lenape were pushed further west until they ended up in Oklahoma as part of the Delaware tribe of Indians.