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

The Canal Community

The Canal Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, July 16, 2020
1. The Canal Community Marker
Small settlements grew up around the canal, many of the inhabitants either working for the canal company or providing goods and services to local boatmen and their passengers. An 1898 survey of the area listed five existing buildings at Lock 15: a lock tender's home, a hotel with an outbuilding, a barn, and a shoemaker's shop. Building materials and house types at Lock 15 are not known, but some early buildings may have been constructed of logs made available when land for the canal was cleared.

The five buildings here at Lock 15 have been outlined in stone to help in visualizing the layout of the site.

Little is known about the individuals who lived and worked along the canal. However, the 1850 Census for Lower Chanceford Township, York County (in which eight locks of the Susquehanna Canal were located), listed eight lock tenders as residents of the area. Patrick Cook, an Irishman who served as canal supervisor, and later as division supervisor, is listed in four consecutive censuses, suggesting a long-term commitment to the canal by at least some of its employees. Lock tenders continue to be listed in the census until 1900, when

Area where buildings were located. image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, July 16, 2020
2. Area where buildings were located.
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persons formerly listed as lock tenders are identified as laborers. Apparently some of the canal-oriented entrepreneurs and workers continued to live in the canal area even after it ceased operation in 1894.

Canal Bridge Over the Susquehanna River
Courtesy of Maryland State Archives

Loading a Canal Boat
Courtesy of Maryland State Archives
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal series list.
Location. 39° 47.975′ N, 76° 18.5′ W. Marker is in Airville, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is on Riverside Road east of River Road. Marker is just north of Muddy Creek Access, in Lock 15 interpretive park. A walkway is available from either area's parking lot. The shortest route from southbound River Road is to go onto Riverside Drive at 330 River Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Airville PA 17302, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Canal Boats (here, next to this marker); The Locks (within shouting distance of this marker); The Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Lock No. 12 (approx. 1˝ miles away); Survivor of the Past
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(approx. 1˝ miles away); Dedicated to the honor and sacrifice (approx. 5.1 miles away); Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown (approx. 5.2 miles away); The Slate Splitters (approx. 5.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Airville.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2020, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on April 18, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 18, 2020, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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May. 6, 2021