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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Delaware City in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Building the C&D Canal

 
 
Building the C&D Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 31, 2021
1. Building the C&D Canal Marker
Inscription.  
Although the idea of a waterway crossing the upper Delmarva peninsula was suggested in the 1600s, the canal did not become a reality until 1829. Over 2,600 workers, including many Irish immigrant and African-American laborers, dug the canal with picks and shovels for wages of 75˘ a day. When they were done, they had created a 14-mile long ditch that was ten feet deep and sixty feet wide, with four locks to carry ships over high and low waters, shortening the water route between Philadelphia and Baltimore by more than 300 miles.

[Captions:]
At right, a token minted in 1825 as scrip for payment to laborers working on the C&D Canal.

The United States government purchased the canal from the private corporation in 1919. By 1927, the Army Corps of Engineers had relocated the Delaware River entrance of the canal to Reedy Point, two miles south of Delaware City. The Corps also eliminated the need for locks by dredging the waterway into a sea-level passage. The branch of the original canal that passes through Delaware City connects with the main C&D Canal two miles inland.

The early drawing above shows the

Building the C&D Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 31, 2021
2. Building the C&D Canal Marker
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changes in elevation between Delaware City and Chesapeake City and the four locks required to raise and lower boats through the passage. There were single locks at Delaware City and St. Georges and two locks at Chesapeake City. At Summit, the highest point on the route, workers cut a huge notch they called Deep Cut.

The canal opened on October 17, 1829, with great celebrations. All manner of craft used it. Initially horse- and mule-drawn barges predominated, but eventually steam powered vessels made up the majority of canal traffic.
 
Erected by City of Delaware City, Delaware; Delaware Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is October 17, 1829.
 
Location. 39° 34.708′ N, 75° 35.266′ W. Marker is in Delaware City, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is on Clinton Street 0.1 miles south of Harbor Street when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 55 Clinton St, Delaware City DE 19706, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Delaware City (a few steps from this marker); The Lock at Delaware City (within shouting distance of this marker); The Diving Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); Fishing, Hunting & Trapping

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(within shouting distance of this marker); Sailing on the C&D Canal (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Small But Mighty (about 400 feet away); Waterfront at Delaware City (about 500 feet away); Coastal Defense Forts (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delaware City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jun. 18, 2021