The Friends of the Delaware Canal will host an illustrated program, “The Delaware River – Mother of Five Canals,” on Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center. The Center is located at 1112 River Road, Washington Crossing, PA.
Bucks County author and historian Willis Rivinus will present the story of the creation and evolution of one of 19th century America’s most prosperous transportation systems.
In the early 1800’s, the legislators and entrepreneurs of Pennsylvania spurred the building of a canal system that could be used to transport the anthracite coal mined in the northeastern section of the state to the fuel-hungry industries in Philadelphia and New York.
Five canals fed by the Delaware River were opened in less than twenty years – the Lehigh Navigation running from the mines to Easton, the Delaware Canal from Easton to tidewater in Bristol, the Delaware and Raritan Canal from Bordentown to New Brunswick, NJ, the Morris Canal from Easton to New York harbor, and the Delaware and Hudson Canal from the coal mines to Albany on the Hudson River.
The geographic obstacles were daunting; the engineering challenges huge. The costs were beyond expectation, but the rewards were immense until railroads and trucks doomed the canals in two generations.
This program is being held in partnership with the Washington Crossing Historic Park and the Friends of Washington Crossing Historic Park. It is free and open to the public. For more information about this program and other Friends’ activities, call 215-862-2021, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.fodc.org.
Photo Caption: Canal Transportation