Special Message • Longtime Indian Lake Resident Celebrates Her 90th Birthday by Giving Back
To our Indian Lake Community:
Please take a moment to read about one of the families who helped Indian Lake grow to what it is today.
As you know, Indian Lake was established back in the early 20s - well, Mrs. Dotty Flynn and her family was there at the start and just this week, she celebrated her 90th Birthday!
Given Mrs. Flynn's long history and life experiance around Indian Lake - she, more than most, could be incredibly attached to the clubhouse she grew up with. I was happy to hear that she wants to help make the new clubhouse a reality by raising donations to help celebrate her birthday. Read about Mrs. Flynn's life on the lake in the Daily Record article below.
While we haven't made a final decision on our path forward, I can't thank Mrs. Flynn enough for helping raise a generous donation towards a great cause!
Mike Gavin ILCC President
Family celebrates Fourth and Mom's 90th by Donating to Indian Lake Clubhouse in Denville
DENVILLE — Sitting in the backyard of her home on the shoreline of Indian Lake, Dotty Flynn counted her blessings.
It was easier than counting the family members gathered for the tail end of her extended 90th birthday celebration.
"I have seven children, 25 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, and more on the way," she said.
Four generations of Flynns gathered for a Fourth of July celebration at the family compound off Franklin Road, five days after the close-knit community feted her during a party at the Indian Lake Community Club.
Dotty Flynn requested that instead of birthday gifts, guests should contribute to a donation she wanted to make to help fix up the clubhouse.
"I just felt the club needed an updating," she said of the clubhouse, which is directly across the lake from her property. "Not that it's falling apart, but it's pretty old."
Several of the 200 guests — "Mostly Flynns, I think," she joked — insisted on bringing gifts, but her mission was accomplished as the donation fund netted about $500.
"When I was young, we used to go to dances there every Saturday night," Dotty Flynn recalled. "It means a great deal to me. Next week, they will have a Family Weekend party. I used to MC that. It's very family-oriented."
Daughter Michele Flynn brought out old photos of her mother and other costumed young ladies dancing chorus-line-style at the club.
"Mom used to teach them how to dance," she said.
But as a young girl, Dotty Flynn had to earn her own money to pay for beach passes, because her family did not join the club. She earned it the hard way at the Bird Factory on Route 46, a castle-like structure that is now a medical building.
“I cleaned the bird cages and the poop off the floor," she said. "I might have fed the birds, too, but I mostly remember cleaning the cages.”
Her family moved to Indian Lake in 1930, just after the creation of what was one of many summer lake communities Morris County residents have coveted for generations. After she and club lifeguard Jim Flynn married when they were both 19, the couple lived with his parents for a while before buying their own house uphill from the lake.
All seven of her children were born before 1960, when they finally bought the lakefront home she still lives in today. After Jim Flynn died, she sold the house to her son, Bryan, moving to an apartment portion of the four-story home with a dock and a water slide on the backyard lakefront.
"We lived across the lake at the time, but when my dad died 25 years ago, she was here all by herself," Bryan Flynn said.
"He loves the lake as much as me," Dotty Flynn said. "We're very fortunate that my parents settled here."
"Before we lived here, we came every weekend," Bryan Flynn said. "Looking at the lake is like looking at a fire. It's mesmerizing."
Over the years, family members on both sides, including some of her children, also bought houses on the lake, continuing a tradition Dotty Flynn hopes will last forever.
“This has always been a great place to live and raise a family," she said. "The lake communities depend on the local people to join and become members in order to pay for the upkeep of the lakes. It is what ties so many of us here, from one generation to the next.”
"Plus it's cooler in the summer," she added.
All these reasons compelled her to give up the tributes and trinkets a matriarch might expect on her 90th birthday, choosing instead to help her community and neighborhood club.
“I want the future generations of my family and friends to enjoy the lake I have loved my whole life," she said.