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

Making Tracks

1871 - 1972

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

"It will give some idea of the magnitude of the business done at Easton (a place the existence of which was hardly known in New York until recently) to state there are, within three miles, a total of 49 large factories, and other smaller factories all in successful operation."
Central Railroad of New Jersey, 1852
Five year annual report

As towpath canals were reaching their peak years of operation in the 1850s, railroads, innovative transport systems, began to emerge. After a devastating flood destroyed the upper section of the Lehigh Navigation in 1862, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibited the rebuilding of this part of the canal.

Instead, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company (LC&N) decided to extend its Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad from White Haven to Mauch Chunk and then south and east to Easton. Begun in 1863 and completed in 1868, the railroad offered a direct route between the anthracite coal regions in the north to Easton. By 1871, financial problems caused LC&N to lease the Lehigh and Susquehanna to the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

With this lease, the Central Railroad of New Jersey gained access to the rich anthracite coal deposits of northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley's growing iron and cement industries. The last decades

Markers at Canal Boat Office in Hugh Moore Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. Markers at Canal Boat Office in Hugh Moore Park
Markers to left of building entrance
of the nineteenth century were the golden age of railroading in the Easton area. In response to this prosperity, elaborate train stations were erected.

The Central Railroad of New Jersey leased the Lehigh and Susquehanna until 1972. With the decline of anthracite coal production, the Central Railroad decided to abandon its Pennsylvania lines.

Today, parts of the old Lehigh and Susquehanna line continue to be used by Norfolk Southern, while other sections have been transformed into recreational rail-trails for walking, biking and hiking.

[Photo captions, from top to bottom, read]
Empty Jersey Central coal "jimmies" waiting for coal at Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe) during the 1880s.

Completed in 1888, this impressive brick and wooden building served as the Central Railroad of New Jersey's Easton Station.

Track crews, like the one pictured here (ca. 1900), worked on the Lehigh and Susquehanna Division of the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

In the 1930s, the Jersey Central operated luxury express passenger trains such as "The Queen of the Valley" pictured here along the Lehigh Valley.
 
Erected by Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, National Canal Museum, and PA DCNR.
 
Location. 40° 39.748′ N, 75° 14.317′ 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. Easton & Nearby Heritage Attractions (here, next to this marker); Anthracite Tidewater Canals (here, next to this marker); From Waterways to Highways (here, next to this marker); Exploring The Corridor (here, next to this marker); Canal Boats (a few steps from this marker); From Mountain to Market (a few steps from this marker); The Canaler's Life (a few steps from this marker); It's a Short Commute (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Easton.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad at Wikipedia. (Submitted on November 4, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Central Railroad of New Jersey at Wikipedia. (Submitted on November 4, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 3, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 4, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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