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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Jim Thorpe in Carbon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lehigh Gorge State Park

 
 
Lehigh Gorge State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2019
1. Lehigh Gorge State Park Marker
Inscription.  Welcome to Lehigh Gorge State Park. This 4,548-acre park stretches 32 miles along the Lehigh River from the Francis E. Walter Dam in the north to Jim Thorpe in the south. Carved by the power of the Lehigh River, the park's deep gorge, steep walls and beautiful rock outcrops provide a scenic backdrop for viewing wildlife, waterfalls and outstanding landscapes. Parking areas, restrooms, trailheads and boat launches provide easy access to the park at White Haven, Rockport and Glen Onoko.

One way to experience the park is through whitewater boating. Rafters, kayakers and canoeists enjoy Class II and III rapids throughout the gorge. Licensed whitewater outfitters are available. Scheduled water releases from Francis E. Walter Dam normally provide adequate water levels.

The over 20-mile non-motorized Lehigh Gorge Trail provides hikers, bikers, wildlife watchers, hunters and anglers access to the park. In winter, 15 miles are open to snowmobiles and more than 20 miles to cross-country skiers.

History enthusiasts will also find the park rich in resources. In the early 1800s, famed naturalist John
Marker detail: Lehigh Gorge State Park Map image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Lehigh Gorge State Park Map
James Audubon
visited the gorge to paint birds. He heard the sounds of the crosscut saw as lumbermen fell huge trees and logs were floated as far south as Philadelphia. By 1841, sawmills dotted the landscape between White Haven and Mauch Chunk (present-day Jim Thorpe) and provided lumber for mine supports and canal boats.

The discovery of anthracite coal nearby in 1791 fueled the need for a transportation system to haul coal and goods to markets in the south. Josiah White, co-founder of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, hired Edwin A. Douglas to construct the ”Upper Grand Section” of the Lehigh Canal. This slackwater navigation system overcame a 600-foot drop in elevation from White Haven to Mauch Chunk by using mules to pull canal boats through 29 locks and 20 dams. When a flood severely damaged the canal in 1862, it was abandoned in favor of more efficient railroads.

Where hundreds once labored, thousands now recreate. Remnants and reminders of these early industries dot the gorge. Wayside exhibits remind us of the past by highlighting historical events. Lehigh Gorge State Park is located in the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
 
Erected by Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
 
Topics and series. This
Lehigh Gorge State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2019
3. Lehigh Gorge State Park Marker
(looking south along Lehigh Gorge Trail)
historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lehigh Canal series list.
 
Location. 40° 53.009′ N, 75° 45.614′ W. Marker is near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, in Carbon County. Marker is on Lehigh Gorge Trail 1.7 miles west of Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located along the Lehigh Gorge Trail (Delaware and Lehigh Trail), in Lehigh Gorge State Park, at the Glen Onoko trailhead and parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jim Thorpe PA 18229, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Exploring The Corridor (here, next to this marker); Romance in the Woods (here, next to this marker); Molly Maguire Executions (approx. 1˝ miles away); This House (1844 A.D.) (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Dimmick House (approx. 1.7 miles away); World War II Honor Roll (approx. 1.7 miles away); a different
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marker also named Exploring The Corridor (approx. 1.7 miles away); From Rails to Trails (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jim Thorpe.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of Lehigh Gorge State Park. Settlement was sparse during the 19th century until loggers arrived and began felling trees and building sawmills. The discovery of anthracite coal at Summit Hill in 1791 caused intensive development and settlement of the upper Lehigh Valley. During the early 1800s, the need to transport increasingly large quantities of coal to markets down river led to the intensive development of canals. Between 1835 and 1838, a series of dams, locks, and canals was constructed by Josiah White and the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. (Submitted on July 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Lehigh Gorge State Park (Wikipedia). The history of Lehigh Gorge State Park is tied into the development of anthracite coal mining, which was once the center of the high-tech economy of northeastern Pennsylvania in its day. It is also tied into the early-to-middle period of the United State's Canal Era and the rapid development of pragmatic railroading technologies and consequent accelerated growth and use
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of railroads. By the 1790s deforestation of the American East was making the search for alternative fuels urgent and many were willing to invest in ventures to somehow mine and ship Anthracite east to the Delaware River. (Submitted on July 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 5, 2021