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Holiday Lake

 I actually drowned there (and was revived of course) in the summer of 1965. There was no law suit. It was totally my fault. If not for the absolute heroics of a buddy of mine who pulled me up from the bottom of the lake, I would just be another statistic. It was a life altering event at a place I used to love going to by catching the special bus on Saturday in front of the Broadway Theater on Broad and Snyder in south Philly. I never went back again. But not for
    any fear of the lake. It took me 35 years to finally track down and thank and apologize to that buddy who I avoided for the rest of my high school years to really thank him. If the lake is still there, I need to make a pilgrimage.
I instigated the seemingly series of innocent events that could have killed both of us. Says Joe Gallo

Is it still there? Says Brian

Sad to report that Don Schwartz, Sr., the son of Joe Schwartz, the original manager died December 13th, 2017 in Westminster California. Don took over as manager when his father died. We corresponded in recent years, and Don sent me much information, but his photos are all gone. I'm hoping others will have photos
    to post. Don was living with his son, Don Schwartz, Jr. Says Peter Fritz

Went to Delanco School with Diane Riker, what are you doing now Diane? Says Susan Lippincott

I think this was the same resort owned by my uncle
 Russel Smith because when I used to visit him his shed was full of boxes of bumper stickers, post cards, and all kinds of stuff. I did ask him what all of that stuff was for, and I remember him telling he once owned it but was now retired. I also remember driving by as a kid with my family and my Dad saying there is Uncle Russel's lake but never stopping we lived far to the North West, NJ. Says Joe Scurti, Lambertville, NJ

Had so many memories. My dad
worked there. I loved the diving boards. I'm 58 now and live in CA. Never seen anything like it. I always talk of this place. Says Diane

Miss this place. Was a intricale part of my childhood being I was a child from phila. With a big family we would go at 11am leave at 8 or 9 and just hope the adults were not to a well you know. I MISS THIS MY KIDS NEVER SAW JUST HEARD Says John Stier

I also remember going to Holiday Lake and I don't have any pictures. all my memories of this place were good and happy. Wish someone had pictures to share. Says Silvia

Wishing it was still there. Our cousin club picnics were the best. Says Johnny

Remember going there with all the gang from south philly.. would love to see some pictures.... The pool was always my favorite.. Says Bob

Was a great place. I was going there from 1975 till 79 when I moved away, No Pics But still remember going to The Ice cream place and getting that frozen choc covered banana's for the kids. Says Nick Martin

Yes, a Church group owns the property now. Lots of changes, all the old building and playgrounds are gone. A large church building has been completed and in use. It looks like they are building a school. Says Rob

I loved Holiday Lake! It was actually open through at least 1989, as I learned how to swim there when I was 7. The gate is still there, which is really cool, but the property is now occupied by a mega church. Says Amy

So sad...i loved that place as a kid.... My church used to have its annual picnic there every June in the 70's.... The property is gone, but the memories remain! Wish more people had pictures. Says Karen

I grew up in Pennsauken, and my mom worked at RCA in Riverton in the 1960s. It was her idea for my family to join Holiday Lake. She, my dad, and I went often, but my older brother and sister never came along, so I got to bring my friends as guests! We liked it a lot. Here I am with my mom at Holiday Lake's picnic area around 1965, probably around my 4th birthday. - Michele Maniscalco

June 1951: The Roy Riker family of Delanco purchased the Burke farm property on Route 25 on the southern border of Delanco and opened Holiday Lake. Joseph Schwartz was hired as seasonal manager. A 14-acre lake was excavated on the center of the 52-acre property, fed by artesian wells. A two-story recreation center was built, which included bath houses, concession stands and a dance hall. A swim club with a concrete pool and cabanas was built. Holiday Lake was a popular spot for residents of Philadelphia and Camden as well as local towns. The Rikers sold the property in 1970. Several attempts were later made to rejuvenate the site. Ed & Kass Bratten leased the property from 1982 to 1988, but it met with limited success. The property was sold to the Abundant Life Fellowship in 1988 and became the site of their church and the Living Waters Senior Residence. The church ceased recreational operations in September of 1990. - Peter Fritz

Here is a postcard. - Anthony Zoppina

Went there every summer in 1960 to 1969 about 5 times per summer. Loved it. - John Stier

The lake was a popular day vacation spot for people from South Jersey and Philadlephia...from the 50's through 70's!!! There was a lake, swimming pool, concession stand, mini golf, picnic area etc. From what was said before it was sold, they were being forced to sell because of rising insurance rates from of frivolous lawsuits. It sat decaying for years - outside there's a really cool retro style gate right out of the 50's & the sign says Holiday Lake. Beyond it lies a dried out swimming pool full of dirt & grass growing out of it. Dilapidated buildings that were once changing rooms surround the lake. You used to be able to rent bathing suits. There's an old decaying minature golf course and abandoned playground. The entire scene is creepy. Property was bought by a church. - Barbara


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