Floating From Mine to Market

Floating From Mine to Market (HM1LVS)

Location: Walnutport, PA 18088 Northampton County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 45.171', W 75° 36.088'

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The Lehigh Canal

— 1829-1942 —

The Lehigh Navigation, built by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, was used to transport anthracite coal from mines in north eastern Pennsylvania to New York, Easton, Philadelphia, and beyond. Workers dug much of the canal by hand, constructing a series of 49 locks to compensate for the 353-foot drop in elevation. Operation of the canal from Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) to Easton began in 1839.
This transportation system allowed coal-laden boats to descend and empty ones to return using the 46.2 miles of canal from Mauch Chunk to Easton. It was wide enough for boats to pass each other, ending the "one way" trip. Consisting of slackwater pools, five guard locks (where the slackwater pools ended and the canal began), and 44 lift locks, this system became a bustling waterway transporting goods.
At its peak in 1855, mule-drawn boats towed more than 1 million tons of anthracite coal down the canal's 46.2 mile length. In the late nineteenth century, railways emerged as a faster and less expensive means of shipping.
The last "coal load" made its way south along the labled waterway in 1932. It stayed in partial operation until 1942, when severe flooding devastated the locks and washed away most of the towpath. For ten years it lay empty and neglected. In 1952, a team of area residents and contractors undertook the restoration of a 3.5 mile section in Walnutport. Although it is no longer used to transport coal, this historic transportation system shaped the character of the communities along its banks. It is now preserved as part of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"They say you can't, but I slept many a time walking." "A good pair of mules in 1912 was purchased for $520.00"
Clifford Best, Walnutport, Boat Captain, Lehigh Canal-Morning Call, Friday, June 16, 1901, Article "Friends of the River"
Placed ByDelaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 16th, 2015 at 2:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 449227 N 4511495
Decimal Degrees40.75285000, -75.60146667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 45.171', W 75° 36.088'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 45' 10.26" N, 75° 36' 5.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)610, 570
Closest Postal AddressAt or near D & L Trail, Walnutport PA 18088, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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