Stanhope in Sussex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Morris Canal Inclined Planes
Village of Waterloo
The inclined planes of the Morris Canal solved a major engineering problem. The canal route had to overcome 1,674 feet of elevation change across New Jersey. The route was chosen for access to the state’s iron industry and to utilize the water of Lake Hopatcong, 924 feet above sea level. The canal’s twenty-three inclined planes overcame large changes in elevation. Twenty-three lift locks, the water elevators of the canal, accounted for the rest.
Imagine the sights and sounds of a canal boat descending the inclined plane, like the one here at Waterloo. Water gushed through the flume and was forced into the turbine housed in the powerhouse shown in the upper right. Wire cable squealed as it wound around the huge cable drum, guiding the heavy boat along iron rails. Mules’ hooves clopped across the bridge, ready to pull the boat towards the lock. The sounds of the lock gate opening ushered the boat on its journey.
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Morris Canal Greenway
Location. 40° 54.869′ N, 74° 45.269′ W. Marker is in Stanhope, New Jersey, in Sussex County. Marker can be reached from Waterloo Valley Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in Historic Waterloo Village. Marker is in this post office area: Stanhope NJ 07874, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark (a few steps from this marker); Waterloo: A Transportation Crossroads (within shouting distance of this marker); The Morris Canal 1824-1924 (within shouting distance of this marker); Let This Tablet Honor Them and All Who Live For the Good of the Community (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Waterloo, A Canal Town (about 300 feet away); Cat Swamp Hijacking and Murder (approx. 2.3 Stanhope, NJ (approx. 2½ miles away); Morris & Essex Line – Netcong Station (approx. 2.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stanhope.
More about this marker. An illustration at the center of the marker depicts the process of a canal boat making its way from the upper canal level to the lower level. It includes a description of the process, as follows:
How It Worked
1) Water from the upper canal level was carried by the headrace flume to the powerhouse.
2) The water dropped about 45 feet through the penstock and was then forced up into the head of the turbine.
3) Water shooting from the four arms of the turbine caused it to rotate, like a lawn sprinkler. This motion was transmitted to the cable drum overhead in the powerhouse.
4) The reversible cable drum wound around the heavy iron cable that moved the cradle car and canal boat up or down the plane.
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 22, 2016, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 158 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 22, 2016, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.