RANDOLPH, NJ- An informal history lesson was given on Monday at the Randolph Museum. Sheila and Roger Lacouture, who have lived in Randolph for 36 years on the site of Sherman Acres, shared their memories during an hourlong discussion with several other Randolph residents. Sherman Acres was one of several bungalow colonies that thrived in the earlier part of the 20th century.
In 1977, the Lacoutures moved into their house on Old Dover Road (now called Mountainside Road) and knew immediately that their new home had a “soul.” Built in 1958, the house was originally occupied by the owners of Sherman Acres. Sheila recalled that the large floor plan made it “the perfect house for our large family.”
Shortly after moving in, the Lacoutures found interesting relics from the past inside their house and around the property. In the basement, they found numbered signs for the bungalows, an old gas dryer that ran on quarters, a portable bar, and old signs from the colony’s entrance and playground. Near their property they located remnants of a former casino and Sheila salvaged heavy stainless steel cooking pans that she used for many years.
According to the Lacoutures, “Sherman Acres existed until the late 1960s, but it no longer was desirable as a vacation spot once the New York State Thruway and the Garden State Parkway opened and allowed people to travel to many other vacation spots.” After sitting abandoned for some time, the buildings and bungalows were knocked down with furniture and various items still inside. Lacouture stated that the owners of the property were only able to develop a small portion of the land, so “87 acres were given to the town for free because they were deemed to be wetlands.”
The Lacoutures are very respectful of all the items that represent the history of their house and property. They have donated some items to the Randolph Museum and they continue to enjoy learning new information about Sherman Acres. At the end of their talk, Sheila and Roger were delighted to learn from an audience member that videos of Sherman Acres are available on YouTube. The videos show some entertainment, summer fun at the pool and some viewing of the property (Google Search, Sherman Acres/ Randolph, NJ).
For additional information on the history of Randolph as a thriving resort destination, CLICK HERE or visit the Randolph Museum.