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Former Host Family Holds Fond Memories of the Tarn

Apr 12, 2022 04:04PM ● By Steve Sears

The outside "grand patio" overlooking the lake Photos courtesy of Glenn Trippett

Glenn Trippett and her son, Danny, are looking at a map of the current Bartley-Flanders Road in Mount Olive.
 “There wasn't another house next to us, and the little store was there,” Trippett says. “I don't know if the little store is still there down a ways.”
 “Across the street is a railroad track,” Danny says.
Trippett starts to cry over the memories. “Oh my God, it just makes me sad. I don't want to look at it.”
 “Mom remembers all the good times,” her son says. “The memories are very bittersweet for Mom. It’s really hard for her to see all the changes that are happening.”
“It really is,” Trippett says.
Trippett’s family were owners of the Tarn, which was located right off of Route 206 on Bartley-Flanders Road. “It was only about a mile and down that road, and you came to the long driveway which drove right into the Tarn,” Trippett says. “My folks bought that place, I think it was the year I turned 13 years old.”
 Trippett, now almost 90, explains a bit about her recall about the property. “The (Bartley) foundry was closed down a few years before. There was not much happening there, and my folks bought that property. It was more than 80 acres of land with the lake on it, and the old foundry building. So, in the 1940’s, W.P. Taggart (her father) purchased the property, which had gotten into a rather bad state during years of disuse.”
The first thing the Taggarts did was renovate the foundry building and made an apartment for themselves to live in. “They just wanted to have a nice little quiet home there by this beautiful lake,” Trippett says. “And so, they did a lot of work on the foundry, made a very nice apartment on the upper level that overlooks the lake, and then got talking about establishing the Tarn and having a nice swim club for people - very much a family type thing.”

A teenage Robert Taggart in his family’s boat on the “Tarn” shore.

 The Tarn, which eventually became the Tarn Swim Club, was open in 1952 on a very select membership basis. It operated successfully until the early 1970’s, when it became a challenge to run it. “It got to be too much for them,” Trippett says. “They started having problems. They had to start controlling the water that came into the lake, and there got to be a big algae problem up in Budd Lake which is where the water came from. And those big power lines went in and took a big chunk of their property. My folks just could not deal with that.”
When the Taggarts eventually sold the property, it was turned into a business retreat called Pondview, which has been abandoned. The Township of Mount Olive has purchased and plans to renovate the foundry building, which is located a 5 Pondview Lane. “My folks had completely kind of renovated it,” Trippett says, “turned into a beautiful clubhouse with a big fireplace, it had big changing rooms and everything. We've heard that all has gotten destroyed.”
“Grandpa did a lot of work,” says Danny. “He put in a snack bar. He put in golf carts that he took around in the 1950s, and he built a huge room downstairs we called ‘the big room,’ and it was a massive stone room with a big fireplace with shuffleboard. He turned it into a real nice swim club, aka a family fun center. I talked to one of my cousins last night coincidentally, and we were probably the last generation where my cousins were like immediate family. He said he would hang out there on a daily basis. We all knew each other as if we were all brothers and sisters, and the family unit was so close at that time, and I think that's some of our fondest memories, and mom’s as well.” Danny’s mom and dad also purchased a little tiny acre from Taggart, and the Trippetts built a childhood home a half mile away from the Tarn. “And then there's a path that connected that house to the swim club,” Danny says. That path is now barely visible on the map.
When asked if he ever does go back and look at the property, Danny says, “I did a long time ago when I first moved back. I was in California and Las Vegas for like 20 years, and then, when I first came back, I found myself driving down Bartley-Flanders Road and I kind of drove into the driveway of the Tarn.”
He pauses for a moment. “And the memories really did flood back.”