Antique & Classic Boat Society

Lake Hopatcong Chapter

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About Us

The Lake Hopatcong Chapter: An Overview

Bob Rice

The Lake Hopatcong Chapter of The Antique & Classic Boat Society, Inc. (ACBS) is based predominantly at Lake Hopatcong, the largest lake in New Jersey with over forty miles of shore line. Two neighboring lakes, Green Pond and Lake Mohawk, have growing populations of antique boaters, as well, with their boats in active use. The membership has been stable over the years with between 135 and 140 at most times.

A source of great pride to our members is the Chapter’s rich history. What is now The Lake Hopatcong Chapter of ACBS played a major role in the founding of the ACBS. How did that happen? Before the ACBS was founded, an enthusiastic group of antique boat owners at Lake Hopatcong saw an alarming trend of wooden boats being used increasingly less and falling into a state of deterioration and neglect. On October 2, 1974 they met at the lakeside home of H. Drayton Mook to form a club to address and reverse this trend. On October 17th, 1974 The Lake Hopatcong Antique Boat Club was formed with the stated goal being, “To encourage our members to acquire, preserve, restore, and exhibit early boats and to enjoy the association of others with similar interests.” One can see a remarkable similarity to the essence of the current Mission Statement of ACBS.

Playing vital and active roles in the formation of the Lake Hopatcong Antique Boat Club were H. Drayton Mook, Drayton’s son, H.D. “Bucky” Mook II, Clifford “Skip” Shipman II, Wayne Mocksfield, Tom Wiss III, Tom Luce, Frank Scanlon, and Dr. Lloyd Craver. Indicative of the interest level at Lake Hopatcong was the fact that the club quickly grew to 66 members.

Several of this group of men were involved in the creation of the ACBS when the newly founded Lake Hopatcong Antique Boat Club became aware of a group with similar interests in creating just such a club at Lake George. The late Bill Smith, who participated in the meetings at both Lake Hopatcong and Lake George, was the conduit for the shared awareness. Bill lived in Morristown, NJ and had a home on Lake George and played a critical role in the founding of ACBS. Bill was to become a Founder of ACBS when it was created.

With the newly discovered mutually shared interests, vision, and willingness to volunteer to drive the process, a joint meeting of the two groups took place at Lake George on November 2, 1974. At that meeting from Lake Hopatcong were H. Drayton Mook, Tom Wiss III, Clifford “Skip” Shipman II, and Wayne Mocksfield.

It was from those embryonic meetings at Lake George in the fall of 1974 that The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc. was born, with the actual date of founding being January 25, 1975. We are proud of the role that antique boating enthusiasts from Lake Hopatcong played in the formation of the ACBS, several of whom became Charter Members.

Charter Members of ACBS from Lake Hopatcong

Tom Luce*
H.D. "Bucky" Mook, II
  Wayne Mocksfield
Clifford "Skip" Shipman, II
Barbara Smith
  H. Drayton Mook*
Thomas H. Wiss, III*
    * Deceased    

We are proud, too, that Charter Member, H. Drayton Mook, was one of two Vice-Presidents on the first Board of Directors of ACBS, along with Founder, Bill Smith. Joseph Fleming II, a Lake Hopatcong Chapter member, was a Founder of ACBS, as well, Joe was Secretary of the first Board of Directors, and later became President (1988-89).

The reader can readily see the substantial role that antique boaters from Lake Hopatcong played in the creation and early days of the ACBS… a source of enduring pride. But it is appropriate to state the obvious…that the product of those early meetings was a collective effort of volunteer visionaries from both the Lake George and the Lake Hopatcong groups.

In concluding this brief focus on the Lake Hopatcong Chapter of the ACBS, it is noteworthy to highlight our pride in the fact that of the 57 chapters that now comprise the ACBS, the Lake Hopatcong Chapter was the first Chapter.

© Lake Hopatcong Chapter Antique & Classic Boat Society