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Trenton in Mercer County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Canals, Trains and Automobiles

 
 
Canals, Trains and Automobiles Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 14, 2020
1. Canals, Trains and Automobiles Marker
Inscription.  
In 1830 the State of New Jersey granted its first railroad charter to the Camden and Amboy (C&A) Railroad and a similar charter to the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal. The original C&A, linking Camden, Bordentown, Trenton and South Amboy, was constructed between 1830 and 1838. Built between 1830 and 1834, the main D&R canal extended from Bordentown, through Trenton, to New Brunswick, and the feeder canal, running alongside the Delaware River, linked Trenton to Lambertville and Stockton. In 1831 the State Legislature merged the two systems through a "Marriage Act" that established a transportation monopoly commonly referred to as the "Joint Companies." The C&A transformed expansive areas of farmland into urban industrial centers and suburban residential communities, helping to establish New Jersey as one of the country's most important states during the Industrial Revolution. The combined canal and railroad network provided access between the commercially important cities of New York and Philadelphia, greatly reducing travel times and expanding the state's commercial viability.

In 1871 operation of the C&A was transferred, with
Canals, Trains and Automobiles Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 14, 2020
2. Canals, Trains and Automobiles Marker
a 999-year lease, to the Pennsylvania Railroad, which continued to flourish throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The D&R operated at a profit through 1892, after which the nation's canals were overwhelmed by the greater speed and accessibility of railroads. Despite its gradual decline, the D&R remained operational through 1932, after which New Jersey took control of the canal and transformed it into a water supply and recreational system that continues to operate today. During the 1950s portions of the canal were filled within the City of Trenton to accommodate the construction of new roads, including NJ Route 129 and US Route 1, thereby reusing the canal right-of-way for the new and more efficient method of transport offered by highways. (See photographs of typical canal filling and road construction operations at left).

The entire history of America's transportation network has been one of change. Starting with colonial-era stagecoaches and ferry systems, travel became substantially more efficient with the arrival of canals and railroads in the early 1800s. As canals became obsolete, railroads continued to thrive and provide fast, efficient means of transport. By the mid-1900s, the prominent place in American travel was held by cars and trucks, as the national highway system expanded. This evolution continues today with the construction of the light-rail
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line passing through this station stop that illustrates both a rebirth in railroad travel and the ever-changing means by which people become connected with places beyond their homes. (Marker Number 8.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad 🚂 series list.
 
Location. 40° 12.33′ N, 74° 45.264′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker is on 3rd Street just south of Cass Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is on the grounds of the Cass Street Light Rail Station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 216 3rd St, Trenton NJ 08611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Penitentiary House (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Residence of John A. Roebling (approx. 0.3 miles away); Water Power and Industry (approx. 0.4 miles away); The World Arrives … (approx. 0.4 miles away); “… a Town laid out called Lamberton …” [1773] (approx. half a mile away); “The Whole Art, Secret and Mystery of Manufacturing Sturgeon” (approx. half a
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mile away); “Trenton Ready for War …….” (approx. half a mile away); Growth of Government (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 15, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 15, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Feb. 25, 2021