Union Canal Tunnel
Dug through the ridge dividing the waters of the Quittapahilla Creek and Clark’s Run, the tunnel was originally 720 feet long. Drilling was done by hand and blasting with gunpowder through Argillaceous Slate Rock with veins of hard flinty limestone 80 feet below the summit of the ridge. Progress of the work was 5 yards lineal per week.
Work began May, 1825, and was completed in June, 1827, at a total cost of $30,464.29. The tunnel’s length was reduced to 600 feet during the canal enlargement in 1858 at a cost of $8280.
Simeon Guilford was the engineer in charge with John B. Ives as contractor.
The first boat to pass through the tunnel was the Alpha of Tulpehocken on June 12, 1827. Boats were poled through the tunnel against the ceiling while mules were led over the top of the ridge.
Erected 1988 by Lebanon County Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks, and the Union Canal marker series.
Location. 40° 20.894′ N, 76° 27.386′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Union Canal Company of Pennsylvania (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Union Canal Tunnel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Courthouse Lampposts and Courthouse Bell (approx. 2 miles away); Lebanon County (approx. 2 miles away); Union Canal (approx. 3.6 miles away); Cornwall Iron Furnace (approx. 4.7 miles away); John Walter (approx. 5.8 miles away); Cornwall Furnace (approx. 5.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lebanon.
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 202 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 8, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.