— Delaware Canal Lock 20 State Park —
Flora Henry, Locktender
Shouts of "Gid-Up” echo along the canal. Pairs of mules strain at their harnesses to get the canal boats moving. The sound of conch shell horns alert locktenders to approaching boats. It is 4 AM, still dark, yet the work day has already begun along the Delaware Canal.
The 60-mile-long canal was built to reliably transport anthracite coal from the mines of northeastern Pennsylvania to cities along the eastern seaboard. Opened in 1831, the canal had twenty-four locks (water elevators) that raised or lowered boats on their journeys between Easton and Bristol.
The canal shaped communities. Canal boat captains, muletenders, and locktenders made their living on the waterway. Neighboring businesses. provided the goods and services canal workers needed while traffic on the canal fueled local enterprise.
This side view of the Delaware Canal shows the locks that were used to raise and lower boats along the 165-foot elevation change
An empty boat, riding high in the
water, heads north for payday and
another load of coal. It is passing
a heavy coal-laden boat heading
south to market.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Delaware Canal (AKA Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal) series list.
Location. 40° 33.733′ N, 75° 9.817′ W. Marker is in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, in Bucks County. Marker is on River Road (Pennsylvania Route 32), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Upper Black Eddy PA 18972, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cemented in the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Amsterdam Historic District (approx. 1.7 miles away in New Jersey); Canal Boats (approx. 2.1 miles away); a different marker also named Delaware Canal (approx. 2.1 miles away); Mt. Joy (approx. 2.3 miles away in New Jersey); Volendam Windmill (approx. 2.3 miles away in New Jersey); Riegelsville Historic District (approx. 2.6 miles away in New Jersey); Riegelsville Roebling Bridge (approx. 2.7 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on December 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 30, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 28 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 30, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.