While restoration of the historical Lake Hopatcong train station in Landing remains on track, a beefsteak dinner, with a rich history of its own, will be held to support the project.
The dinner, hosted by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4, 6 to 9 p.m., at St. Jude Parish Hall, 40 Maxim Drive, Hopatcong. In addition to the dinner, the event will feature a short presentation on the history and restoration of train station, a basket raffle and a 50/50.
“The dinner is being held to raise money to help with the train station restoration and we are looking forward to a large turnout,” said Marty Kane, chair of the event committee, “It is also a great opportunity to bring people up to date on the project.
“The community has been an essential part of our team in the work at the station and the dinner will allow us to thank everyone for the progress to date and to look forward to the completion of the restoration.”
The train station was constructed in 1911, largely to accommodate tourists as Lake Hopatcong grew in stature as a resort destination. It was built at a time when the lake hosted dozens of hotels and attracted celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.
Garret “Hap” Nightingale, proprietor of a butcher shop in Clifton, could have come through Lake Hopatcong Station during the resort years. He began catering dinners known simply as “beefsteaks” in the 1930s, which featured all-you-can-eat sliced tenderloin, fries and bread.
The train station fell out of use by railroads in the 1970s, and Nightingale died in 1982, but their places in New Jersey’s history are being kept alive.
Beefsteaks are still being catered by the Nightingale family business in Clifton, which will serve the traditional fare for train station restoration fundraiser.
The train station was empty and had fallen into disrepair when it was bought by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation three years ago. Once the restoration is complete, the building will feature a community and information center, as well as the office of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.
Tickets are $35 for all ages, and are available in advance at lakehopatcongfoundation.org/beefsteak. In addition to the traditional beefsteak fare of tenderloin and fries, there will be salad, dessert, water and soft drinks. Guests are invited to bring their own beer and wine. Admission is limited.
For additional details, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 973-663-2500.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of “improving Lake Hopatcong for all, now and in the years to come.” Launched in 2012, it aims to improve and enhance the lake experience and environment. Initiatives include invasive species prevention, lake education, community building and safety improvements. For more information, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org.