A thoroughfare for centuries, the Susquehanna River played a major role in the region's development. Here is one of the few places in Pennsylvania where all forms of transportation came together. The river, American Indian trails, canals, railroads and roads all cross paths here.
American Indians paddled canoes up and down the river trading, and warring, with neighboring villages. Eighteenth-century explorers traveling the river recording that, by 1710, there was a network of paths and Indian towns along its shore. Upstream, is Warrior Spring, a historic American Indian gathering place.
Shortly after the American Revolution, George Washington proposed that a victorious America build canals to help settle and develop the newly independent nation. On July 4, 1834, the West Branch Canal opened. The 73-mile canal extended from Northumberland to Farrandsville and cost $1,158,580. In all, 1,400 miles of canals stretched across Pennsylvania in the 1800s. Canals enabled people to ship merchandise, coal, iron, farm products, as well as passengers, vast distances quickly. A canal boat from Port Penn reached Philadelphia in only six days.
By the 1850s another form of transportation, promising faster, more reliable, scheduled service drew business from the canals. Railroad companies purchased canal companies and laid train tracks on the level towpaths and canal beds. The iron horse replaced the mules that once pulled the canal boats.
The Last Raft
Each spring, with the rising water, men moved more than 2,000 log rafts downstream to market, as far south as the Chesapeake Bay. The largest raft to pass this point was 300-feet long by 25-feet wide and weighed 150 tons.
The Last Raft was a reenactment, a tribute to the logging industry of the 1800s and early 1900s. Crossing the river is the million dollar Reading Railroad Bridge, built in 1928. This bridge is the site of
Erected by Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History, PA DCNR, Susquehanna Greenway, et al.
Location. 41° 11.531′ N, 76° 48.212′ W. Marker is in Muncy, Pennsylvania, in Lycoming County. Marker is at the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, on the trail between Pepper Street and the Susquehanna River. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Muncy PA 17756, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Drinking Well (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Port Penn (within shouting distance of this marker); How a Lock Works (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lock-tender and His House (within shouting distance of this marker); Canal Boat Building (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Canal Boats (about 500 feet away); Fisher Pond (about 700 feet away); Old Walton Cemetery (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Muncy.
Also see . . . Muncy Historical Society PA. (Submitted on July 25, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
More. Search the internet for Nature's Highway.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 81 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 25, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.