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

Canal Boats

1831 - 1932

 
 
Canal Boats Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 9, 2017
1. Canal Boats Marker
Inscription.

"I remember one day, my dad grabbed both the driver and captain and threw them in the canal. My dog Buster, got one of the captains by the seat of the pants and really tore his pants off. He got his wife to steer while he went in the cabin to get on another pair of pants—just by acting fresh."
Flora Henry
Locktender

Boatbuilding
American canal boats met standards as unique as their canals. Here, the preferred boat met Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company’s specifications of 87.5 feet long, 10.5 feet wide and 7.5 feet tall. The wooden “hinge” boats carried up to 100 tons of cargo.

Private boatyards built and repaired boats along the Delaware Canal at Uhlerstown, Erwinna, Upper Back Eddy, Point Pleasant, New Hope and Bristol. The major Company-owned boatyards operated in Weissport and Laury’s Station on the Lehigh Navigation.

Hinge Boats
Boat captains liked the flexibility of the “hinge” boat. They separated the two sections easily by removing center connecting pins. This boat effortlessly turned in the narrow Delaware Canal and handily hauled two types of freight. The two sections traveled on the inclined planes of New Jersey’s Morris Canal eliminating the need for load transfers.

Passing Rules
In 1833, rules established

Canal Boats Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 9, 2017
2. Canal Boats Marker
by the Canal Commissioners allowed the “light” (unloaded) boat the right-of-way when two boats met. The loaded boat steered to the side opposite the towpath and stopped their mules. The tow line sank to the canal bottom. The lighter boat, traveling higher in the water, passed over the line. Both then continued on their way.

When boats approached each other, difficulties sometimes arose. Fights often began when a faster boat could not pass a slower boat. After all, they made money by the load…and time was money.

[Photo captions, from top to bottom, read]
• "Hinge" boats were popular because they were more flexible. You can see both sections side by side at the top of the photograph

• A canal boat passes through New Hope. This proud "Chunker" captain owns his own boat—[?] on this canal.

• This 1856 photograph shows an unidentified locktender enjoying a rare restful moment on a canal boat.
 
Erected by Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Friends of the Delaware Canal.
 
Location. 40° 39.753′ N, 75° 14.31′ W. Marker is in Easton, Pennsylvania, in Northampton County. Touch for map. Marker is near the Josiah White II canal boat loading area in Hugh Moore Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2750 Hugh Moore Park Road, Easton PA 18042, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Mountain to Market (here, next to this marker); The Canaler's Life (here, next to this marker); It's a Short Commute (here, next to this marker); Lehigh Canal (a few steps from this marker); Easton & Nearby Heritage Attractions (a few steps from this marker); Making Tracks (a few steps from this marker); Anthracite Tidewater Canals (a few steps from this marker); From Waterways to Highways (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Easton.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. An identical marker
 
Also see . . .
1. Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. (Submitted on November 3, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Canal History. (Submitted on November 3, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. A Brief History of the Delaware Canal. (Submitted on November 3, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 3, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 3, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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