History of the Park
Verona Park is located in the town of Verona, NJ and is a part of the Essex County park system. It is 54.32 acres with a lake running through it. It is bordered by Lakeside and Bloomfield Avenues in the southern part of Verona. It is the fifth largest park in the Essex County system.
Once an old swamp, the lake was first formed in 1814 when Doctor Gone (or Bohn) dammed the Peckman River for a grist mill. Later this lake surrounded by weeping willow trees and winding paths became an ideal location for family activities. Even before it became a county park, the public flocked there by way of the Bloomfield Avenue trolley to swim and picnic and enjoy some commercial amusements.
The first land acquisitions for the park were made in 1920. Demand for acquisition of this desirable tract had been increasing for some time, but was delayed due to economic conditions caused by the war. To acquire part of this land owned by the Erie Railroad Company, an agreement was made allowing the RR to retain a right-of-way across the park by means of a bridge. Fortunately, this bridge never materialized and the existing arched pedestrian bridge over the lake remained and now presents a quaint architectural highlight.