Stanhope in Sussex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Waterloo, A Canal Town
Village of Waterloo
Peter Smith was a man of vision. Knowing the Morris Canal was about to build a lock and an inclined plane at the Old Andover Forge site, Smith moved his family to the village and built a general store right on the canal. He and his extended family operated the grist and saw mills, helped build the church and supported the local school. Soon, the village had a store keeper, lock tender, plane tender, school teacher, and other residents. Smith’s canal store became the commercial center of the region. High grade iron ore from nearby mines was shipped on the canal and hundreds of boats, loaded with anthracite coal from Pennsylvania, passed through the village. Smith’s vision made Waterloo a thriving inland canal port, where boatmen picked up supplies at the store, had their mules shod, and shared news with residents before traveling on.
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Morris Canal Greenway
Beginning in the 1890s, Charles McWilliams was the brakeman on the plane cars at Plane 3 West, a short distance east of Plane 4 West, at Waterloo. He lived in the stone house provided by the canal company with his wife and eight children. In 1908, he received a promotion to become the plane tender at Plane 3 East, at Ledgewood. He moved his entire family and house contents on a canal boat to Ledgewood. His direct descendants still live along Plane 3 East, although not in the plane tender’s house which still stands.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 40° 54.858′ N, 74° 45.342′ W. Marker is in Stanhope, New Jersey, in Sussex County. Marker can be reached from Waterloo Valley Road, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located in Historic Waterloo Village. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stanhope NJ 07874, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are Let This Tablet Honor Them and All Who Live For the Good of the Community (a few steps from this marker); The Morris Canal 1824-1924 (within shouting distance of this marker); Waterloo: A Transportation Crossroads (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark (about 300 feet away); The Morris Canal Inclined Planes (about 300 feet away); Cat Swamp Hijacking and Murder (approx. 2.4 miles away); Stanhope, NJ (approx. 2.6 miles away); Site Of Toll Gate (approx. 2.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stanhope.
More about this marker. Portraits of Peter Smith and Mariah Johnson Smith appear on the left side of the marker. Below this is a photograph of “A fully loaded canal boat approach[ing] the aqueduct/guard lock near the Smith General Store.”
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2016, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 255 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 21, 2016, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.