The tunnel in the Reservoir Woods

Deep in the woods of the Jersey City Reservoir Woods in the south of Boonton, New Jersey was a tunnel on the beach of the reservoir.

There’s a street which was named by my father, Francis (Frank) Boyd, when he was an alderman for the town of Boonton. It’s called Reservoir Drive.

I don’t know who lives now at 510 Reservoir Drive at the corner of Sherman Street in Boonton, NJ, but that is the house I grew up from age zero. Across the street we dug a hole under the fence behind a bush, and we’d slip under there to an established path.

We owned those woods. To this day there’s a sewer pipe manhole covered with concrete with my initials WEB carved on the cement.

On the bank of the reservoir we built a tunnel. It extended from the waterfront inward a dozen feet or so. We supported it with 2×4’s and took every precaution to be as careful (and scientific) as we could in building it.

We had a lot of adventures in those woods.

Sometimes the “guards” from the reservoir dam would come out and look for us in powered boats but they could never catch us.

One time we went all the way out to the reservoir island and made a campsite. They caught us that time by the smoke of our campsite and towed our canoe back to land.

Another time my dog “Shucks” fell through the ice chasing a rock that we threw to try to reach the liquid water. A friend went to a neighbor’s house and called the police. They showed up with the fire department and somehow rescued that poor dog, frozen as he was, and he went on to live many years beyond that. It made the papers. Nobody said anything about us trespassing on Jersey City property.

Some years later I had a few girlfriends down in those woods. Won’t tell you what we did. Only to tell you that the Jersey City Reservoir woods south of Reservoir Drive (which my father named) are dear to my heart.

Boonton forever!

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