Rediscovering the Towpath: The Legacy of William Francis Taylor

    The Friends of Delaware Canal have announced their newest exhibit titled “Rediscovering the Towpath: The Legacy of William Francis Taylor.” This exhibit celebrates the life and work of Canadian American William Francis Taylor (1883-1970), the man – artist, founder, author, editor, conservationist, citizen.

    The exhibit is an imaginative re-purposing of the former Canal Boat Concession Building at Lock 11, adjacent to the Locktender’s House in New Hope. It runs through all of 2023 and is open 11:00am to 4:00pm, Friday through Monday. 

    Decades before the Friends of the Delaware Canal was formed, William Francis Taylor came to reside in the Delaware River Valley and championed its protection. He created the Delaware Valley Protective Association which helped to preserve the Delaware Canal and secure the creation of the Delaware Canal State Park. 

    As an artist, he spearheaded the acquisition of Phillips Mill in 1928 for the Phillips’ Mill Community Association and the Pennsylvania Impressionists of which he became a part. From 1939-1941, he edited TOWPATH magazine which celebrated “Life in Three Counties: Bucks, Hunterdon and Mercer” and encouraged all “to preserve the beauty and value of the valley.” 

    “Now, on the 140th anniversary of William Francis Taylor’s birth, the Friends celebrate and showcase the art, words, advocacy and indeed, the legacy of his work in the existence of the beautiful, valuable and largely preserved Delaware Canal and Delaware River Valley that we enjoy today,” said Brett Webber, Exhibition Curator and President, Friends of the Delaware Canal.

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