Lake Walton, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
It is amazing that such a pristine, beautiful area exists
about 1000 feet off Route 82.
The 40+ acre lake is home to ducks, swans, geese, as well as various types of fish.
The land was owned by Mr. Brinkerhoff. He rented the land for use with Mobile homes and trailers.
Back in 2001, Mr. Brinkerhoff sold the 230+ acre parcel to a developer in Chicago, Ill for 1.8 million. After the land was sold,
the firm notified all the tenants that they had to move their trailers off the land as the new owner was planning to develop the land
into a gated community of 94 houses.
Some community members were elderly people who had no place to go -- they had lived there for many years.
I think the developer found a new park for the elderly people - I'm not sure if the developer moved the trailers for these folks, or if they were moved
into other types of residences.
Some tenants moved their mobile homes and trailers to
Some tenants could not afford to move their homes (it costs $5,000 and up to move a mobile home) and abandoned
their homes to the elements. A few had to declare bankruptcy in order to get out of the mortgages held on a mobile home
they could not afford to move.
There are still a few folks hanging on to the bitter end. I'm not sure what will happen to them. I would imagine that if they continue to
stay where they are, the builder will have them forcefully evicted. I've heard about that happening to some folks. Its not a pretty
thing. The Dutchess County Sheriff arrives, removes all personal possessions from the home and literally piles everything next to the road.
The residence is then padlocked shut to prevent further entry. Wow - what a terrible way to have to leave.
I've decided to take pictures of the 'community' as the months pass as sort of a snapshot for history's sake.
The majority of the houses and trailers that are left are basically abandoned shells. People took what they could.
If they decided they didn't want to take it with them after they removed it from the house, they literally left it
where they dropped it. There are kids bikes, toys, wheel barrels, even a kitchen stove in front of some of the houses.
These are all remnants of someone's life. Families were here. They've moved on, hopefully to better places and happier times.
Only discarded personal possessions stay to remind the onlooker that 'real' people lived 'real' lives here.
A sense of sadness permeates the air as you observe discarded personal items. One can't help but wonder who the owners were.
The photos below were taken on a drizzly day - March 12, 2006.
Many of the abandoned buildings were still
easily seen on the shorefront and along the roads. I would anticipate that as the foliage starts to emerge
in about a month, these abandoned buildings will become less visible. Some of the older houses were heavily
entwined with vines.
I'm going to take a drive over to the town hall tomorrow and inquire about the new community. I'm curious as to when
they will start building. It looks like things have been held up for a number of years due to the resident relocation, as
well as environmental issues regarding building around the lake and wetlands areas.
Some information on the land:
An article from 2003 in the NY Times: