Hawleys Lake Park is now accessible between the eastern and western edges of the lake with a half-mile walk because Babylon crews have removed brush along the east and west edges.
On Sampawams Creek, the trail is the longest and most hidden path. The park looks nothing like a town Park.
Lakes changed drastically with the construction of Rt. 231 in the 1960's. On the south end, it was completely filled. Montauk Highway used to be 50 feet away from the lake prior to the highway's construction. The distance is now 300 feet. Building the southbound lanes required filling the west side of the lake. The roadbed was elevated by truckloads of fill. Village Line Road is located at the edge of the creek, where one can view the embankment across the creek. The creek has been severely affected by the construction of Rt. 231. The flow of the creek itself has changed. Currently, it flows from the eastern Islip end of the lake.. The lake was being fed from the north before.
There is still a concrete bridge containing the initial “H” from Hawleys Lake Park off Parkwood Rd. By way of George Street, the lake was connected to the estate by a wooden bridge. There is an old picture of Edwin Hawley on his bridge.
The estate was purchased by Hawley in 1910. Previously, there was an old mill on his property which he demolished. About 1750, Hawley purchased the Montford/Oakley Mill, the first permanent structure in the Village from Effingham B Sutton. In 1882, the lake was known as Sutton Lake. On the Calverton estate, the son of a well-to-do family, Wentworth Donohue, had a lake named Donohue's Lake. A lake is usually named for its owner's last name.
There is something annoying about the lake's Hawley name. The eastern side of Lake has the name of the landowner for over a century. Effingham B. Sutton shares this lake's first name with Suttons Lake on maps. The Long Island coast is home to lakes and ponds named after people.
Essentially Hawleys Lake Park has been reduced to a pond with limited access. The lake should have been called a different name when Moses changed it. Almost no use can be made of the land surrounding the lake as a town park. On a recent stroll around the lake, there was incessant traffic noise that took the experience away. This example illustrates a walk that stresses the walker rather than bringing peace. While Rt. 231 offers progress for drivers zooming up and down, progress can be detrimental to a body of water that is slowly becoming a creek as sand and mud slowly fill it with.
Moses actually created an invisible lake, rather than trying to create a twin park. Only a few people actually visit it since it is not seen by passing traffic. As a result, Moses transformed Hawleys Lake Park into a swamp.
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