Hudson Maxim was an inventor/scientist

Hudson-Maxim_WebCalled by Thomas Edison “the most versatile man in America,” Hudson Maxim was an inventor, scientist, author and explosives expert. First drawn to Lake Hopatcong while working with American Forcite Powder Company at the turn of the century, he bought 600 acres on the west shore in 1901. In 1904, Maxim built his main house in Hopatcong, initially known as Maximhurst and then simply Maxim Park. Maxim’s greatest fame came from his inventions in modern warfare, as the inventor of smokeless powder and other propellants, shells and torpedoes. Ironically, he often lectured and wrote on the need for arbitration and not war. He spoke and wrote prolifically on other topics as well – from his opposition of maintaining the Morris Canal to his disdain of Prohibition to his love of poetry and boxing.

HudsonMaximHouse_WebHe was a confidant of Presidents, having spent time with at least three. While he maintained a town house in Brooklyn, NY, Maxim spent most of the year in Hopatcong when not traveling. In 1906, Maxim built his famous Venetian style boat house, which would dominate the west shore for the next 50 years. Built of stone and wood with two steel girders, it projected out over the water and resembled a medieval fortress. It had three floors and stone fireplaces. Maxim died May 6, 1927 at his house in Hopatcong. In 1929, a monument in his honor was erected at Hopatcong State Park. While his main house and boat house were regrettably torn down in the late 1950’s, several other Maxim Park buildings survive today. The two guest houses and garage are private residences, and the unique round ice house/observatory has been converted to a rathskeller.