Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Muncy in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Lock-tender and His House

 
 
The Lock-tender and His House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 22, 2018
1. The Lock-tender and His House Marker
Inscription.  

You are looking at a replica of a lock-house façade that was salvaged from the National Canal Museum, Easton by Muncy Historical Society volunteers in January 2012. Dismantled and brought to Muncy, the sections were reconstructed on this site in 2015. The original house that belonged to this lock stood nearby, abandoned for many years before it was razed in the early 1900s.

At the side of each lock about a half acre of ground was set aside on which to build a lock-house. These were generally rent-free homes, making attractive housing since the lock-tender's pay seldom rose above $20 a month ($540 in 2015 dollars)[.] These wages compared favorably to those of other unskilled laborers of that time. The lock-tenders lived busy lives, focused on the daily passing of canal boats up and down the canal.

Lock-tenders assisted the boatmen in safety traversing the locks through day and night, if necessary, and also were responsible to maintain the lock and the level stretch of canal below the lock. The lock-tender was "on duty" 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He could not wander beyond hailing distance of the lock and most certainly could

The Lock-tender and His House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 22, 2018
2. The Lock-tender and His House Marker
not take any time off during the entire boating season.

Most cargo boats traveled on week days only and lay up at least part of each night, while passenger packets could arrive at any hour, day or night. These boats signaled the lock-tender that they were nearing the canal entrance by blowing into a conch shell or a tin horn.

To supplement his meager wage the lock-tender set a fish line and/or gardened, selling off any excess fish or produce to the boatmen. His wife might bake bread or pies and the children might hawk the fresh water that they pulled from the well.

[Photo captions read]
• Volunteers, at left, helped reconstruct the Lock-tender's house.

• Canal boats signaled the lock-tender that they were nearing the canal [sic - lock] entrance by blowing into a conch shell or a tin horn, like the ones at right.

Crossroads
The "Crossroads Quilt Pattern" is on the Muncy Historical Society's Heritage Quilt Trail. It represents one of the few places in Lycoming County where all the major forms of transportation came together... the river, Indian path, canal, roadway and railroad.
 
Erected by Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History, PA DCNR, PA Lumber Heritage Region, and PA Wilds.
 
Location. 41° 11.56′ N, 76° 48.188′ 

The Lock-tender and His House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 22, 2018
3. The Lock-tender and His House Marker
W. Marker is in Muncy, Pennsylvania, in Lycoming County. Marker and structure are at the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, along Pepper Street north of the park entrance. 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. Welcome to Port Penn (a few steps from this marker); Drinking Well (within shouting distance of this marker); How a Lock Works (within shouting distance of this marker); Nature's Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Canal Boat Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Canal Boats (about 400 feet away); Fisher Pond (about 500 feet away); Old Walton Cemetery (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Muncy.
 
Also see . . .
1. CANAL DISCOVERY: The duties of a lock tender. (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Making It Work: The Lock. (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. New Bremen's Historic Lock Tender's House Was Burned To The Ground... (1968). (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Stories of the families that lived along the C&O Canal and made it work. (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Muncy Historical Society PA. (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels
 
Crossroads Quilt Pattern image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 22, 2018
4. Crossroads Quilt Pattern
 

More. Search the internet for The Lock-tender and His House.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 92 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 26, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Paid Advertisement