“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Upper Black Eddy in Bucks County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Cemented in the Past

— Delaware Canal Lock 20 State Park —

Cemented in the Past Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, October 18, 2019
1. Cemented in the Past Marker
Inscription.  "The mill was shut down before 1909, but the millstones and some of the machinery was still there. We used to play around the mill and run the truck back and forth across the bridge on the steel rails."

George Fox,
C.P. Yoder's Delaware Canal Journal, 1972

Looking down from Nockamixon Cliffs at the "Narrows,” a narrow stretch of land between the Delaware River and the Cliffs.

A loaded boat approaching Lock 20 and Nockamixon Cliffs from the north.

Before canal days, Samuel Rufe's gristmill ground local farmers' grain. Then opportunity knocked at his door along the narrow river- bank. Contractors building the canal's locks and aqueducts needed hydraulic cement- a new product that hardened under water. From 1829 to 1833, Rufe's millstones ground lime into hydraulic cement. Lime arrived on boats from limestone quarries located a few miles upstream on the river's New Jersey side. The Narrowsville mill manufactured most of the cement used for masonry on the Delaware Canal, then resumed operation as a gristmill until the early 20th century.

The canal also brought Lock 20 to

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Narrowsville and with that, more people and houses to form a village that has come and gone. About one mile below the lock, the popular Narrows Hotel hosted boatmen, serving five-cent tin pails of beer, known as blickys. Canal boats docked in the basin south of the hotel while nearby stables, barn and blacksmith shop tended weary mules.
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. A significant historical year for this entry is 1909.
Location. 40° 33.75′ N, 75° 9.783′ 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. Delaware Canal (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.
Lock 20 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, October 18, 2019
2. Lock 20
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 Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 111 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 30, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 6, 2023