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

The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal

 
 
The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, January 26, 2008
1. The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal Marker
Inscription. Before the hydroelectric companies built dams on the river in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the lower reaches of the Susquehanna were shallow, rocky, and virtually unnavigable.
In the 1830s, Baltimore merchants campaigned for funding to build a canal from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, to Havre de Grace, Maryland. In 1840, construction of the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal was completed.
The canal paralleled the Susquehanna. It was 50 feet wide and approximately 6 feet deep. To overcome the river's steep 233-foot drop from Columbia to the bay, engineers designed 28 lift locks. The locks made it possible for vessels to carry lumber, coal, iron, fertilizer, grain, and passengers to the Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore. From its office in Wrightsville, customers could even purchase a ticket to Liverpool, England.
In 1855, over 8,000 boats used the canal, but competition from the railroads soon threatened the entire system. Boat traffic declined rapidly, and by 1894, the canal was abandoned.
Although much of the canal disappeared under the lakes created by the dams, a few sections are still visible. If you follow the nearby path on your left, you can see the remnants of Lock 1 and the canal bed.
 
Erected by Lancaster - York Heritage Region Susquehanna River Water
Markers and Signs at the Boat Ramp image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 27, 2010
2. Markers and Signs at the Boat Ramp
Trail.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal marker series.
 
Location. 40° 1.423′ N, 76° 31.496′ W. Marker is in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker can be reached from Maple Street 0.1 miles east of S. Front Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wrightsville PA 17368, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Susquehanna River Water Trail (here, next to this marker); Springetsbury Manor (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal (about 600 feet away); Veterans Memorial Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); American Legion Monument (approx. mile away); Wrightsville (approx. mile away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. mile away); The River: a Corridor and a Barrier (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wrightsville.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Southern terminus at Havre de Grace, MD
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Portion of the canal looking south. image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, January 26, 2008
3. Portion of the canal looking south.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 30, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,498 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 30, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on June 12, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on January 30, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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