Painted as a donation to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation as part of the great efforts to raise money for the lake. The painting was then auctioned for charity, and the money was donated to the LHF.
Created in July 2016.
Signed by Greg Hildebrandt.
Acrylic on canvas.
A note from Greg Hildebrandt:
To start the process this year, Jean and I spoke to Marty Kane about doing a historical scene on the lake. We knew we wanted an old Steamship and an old hotel. Marty suggested the Hotel Breslin, and the idea was an instant hit with all 3 of us. Marty then supplied us with numerous photos of the hotel and Steamship. After that, the rest of the piece came together.
I was particularly interested in the Breslin because of its historic importance to Lake Hopatcong. The Hotel Breslin is considered the single most important factor in Lake Hopatcong’s growth, and it was also the first structure on the lake to have electricity. In addition, the Breslin had a short 2 years as a private club, but reverted back in 1898. Sadly, in 1948, the Breslin burnt to the ground during renovations.
The Steamship we chose was called, “Hopatcong.” As the part of the White Line’s double-deckers, “Hopatcong” was the largest Steamship on the lake. The White Line itself had a captivating story about competition with the well known Black Line and the eventually construction of the Landing Channel by Theodore King. The Landing Channel allowed the White Line to operate and stay in business until the first World War when taxis and buses became the more popular method of transportation.
This painting captures a part of history that is lost to us. We no longer travel via Steamships, or visit the Breslin, because we cannot. It is my hope that this painting will immortalize two elements of Lake Hopatcong’s incredible past, and represent the livelihood and beauty of those times that were so important to Lake Hopatcong’s future.
Despite the loss of these historic elements, the lake has continued to grow and evolve as a community. One that has remained beautiful and will continue to do so with the help and love of those who live here. I consider my home here on the lake to be my personal paradise, and I know those who live here can understand why.