A little history about the
Lake Wanda Store and its owner

     Originally from Bayonne, my Grandparents Harry and Stephie, bought a cabin in Highland Lakes in the 1950's. My father, Larry and my Uncle David enjoyed summers boating and fishing on the big lake. They would visit Mr. Parker's Wanda Lake Store at the end of the treacherous dirt road called Canistear to pick up the necessities: charcoal, ice, groceries, etc.
      My father worked in a Five and Dime in Bayonne in his teens and then served in the Army National Guard as a Staff Sergeant and radio specialist. In the 1960' s he had been working for Western Electric assembling and testing electrical components when Mr. Parker's little store went up for sale. He saw the opportunity to open his own business and move his family to this beautiful part of the world. In March of 1969 the Marsh family consisting of my father Larry, my mother Frances, my 3 year old sister Christine, and yours truly, Kenneth Lawrence, (then 8 months old) moved into the one-story red building by the lake shore at the end of Canistear Road.
      While Mr. Parker had operated only during the summer, my father decided to keep the "red store" open and do business year ' round. With the development throughout 1970's of the communities of Barry Lakes and Lake Wanda and more folks taking up residence "on the mountain", he and my mom put in the effort necessary to run a small store that could provide things people needed all year long.
      The store has evolved over the years. While we have always offered groceries, deli, milk, ice cream and beer, guns, ammo and archery supplies were also once among our inventory. The state limited access to Wawayanda State Park from this side when it opened the Warwick Turnpike entrance. It was then that we opened our bake shop. Not missing a beat, the very same display case in which guns and knives were once offered now contained pastries, donuts, cookies and brownies. In the 1980's with the explosion in popularity of the VCR (that's Video Cassette Recorder for those too young to remember them), the Lake Wanda Store also began to rent movies.
      In 1990 I had graduated from Villanova University and was deciding what to do with my life. I opted to stay out of the rat race and instead got involved in the family business. It was then that we did a little renovation, installed the pizza oven and expanded the video rental department. Through the 90's we made the transition from VHS to DVD and today we also offer many titles on Blu-ray Disc. Remnants of the original VHS collection too dear to part with still remain in our inventory of rental titles for those who have not disposed of their good old VCR.
      Those of us who live here "up on the mountain" and " north and west of NYC" know what it's like to experience the extremes of what Mother Nature has to dish out. At the Lake Wanda Store we pride ourselves on remaining open to serve the community despite even the harshest conditions. Thanks to generator power we have remained open for business even when all others have locked their doors and hunkered down to wait for the lights to come back on when blizzards and ice storms have had their way with the local grid.
      We are grateful to our loyal customers and we welcome the newcomers who are just discovering what we have to offer. With a two-year-old son our growing family plans to be around for quite a while. Who knows what the coming years will bring? Whatever happens we will be ready and eager to adapt to the needs of our customers. Those who appreciate being on a first name basis at the local comer store and those visitors who just want to get what they need in a quick and friendly manner, I hope all are satisfied by the service we take pride in providing.