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Bristol in Bucks County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Locktender's House at Lock 1

 
 
The Locktender's House at Lock 1 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 14, 2020
1. The Locktender's House at Lock 1 Marker
Inscription.  
A locktender was a crucial canal employee. Responsible for locking canal boats through quickly and efficiently, a locktender needed the endurance and skills to operate the lock's wickets and gates. Having the tact and good humor to deal with impatiently waiting boat captains made the job easier.

A locktender was required to open his lock at 4 a.m. and to close at 10 p.m.—a 16-hour day. By necessity, he and his family lived in a small, company-owned house that stood close by.

Often wives and children helped out with the lock. Extra money could be made by stabling mules. Fruit, vegetables, milk, cakes, and pies could be sold or traded for some coal off the boat.

Abel van Sant was a tender at Lock 1. The story is told that he and his wife had 13 children, and he planted a black willow tree for each of them. "Abel was very able."

Today brown bollards/upright posts mark the approximate location of the corners of the long-gone Locktender's House. None of the black willow trees remain.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce
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Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Delaware Canal (AKA Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal) series list.
 
Location. 40° 5.731′ N, 74° 51.627′ W. Marker is in Bristol, Pennsylvania, in Bucks County. Marker is on Canals End Road just east of Nichols Memorial Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 92 Maple Beach Rd, Bristol PA 19007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lock 1 (here, next to this marker); The Bend before the End (within shouting distance of this marker); Lock 2 (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marsh Ecology in an Urban Setting (about 800 feet away); In the Basin (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fueling the Economy (approx. 0.2 miles away); Working with the Tide (approx. 0.2 miles away); Where the Canal Met the River (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bristol.
 
The Locktender's House at Lock 1 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 14, 2020
2. The Locktender's House at Lock 1 Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 180 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 21, 2024