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

Union Canal Tunnel

 
 
Union Canal Tunnel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 31, 2015
1. Union Canal Tunnel Marker
Inscription. Designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1970, this tunnel is the oldest existing transportation tunnel in the United States. At the time of its construction it was considered a work almost unknown in this country.

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′ 

Union Canal Tunnel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 31, 2015
2. Union Canal Tunnel Marker
W. Marker is in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in Lebanon County. Marker is on Tunnel Hill Road (Pennsylvania Route 4001). Touch for map. The marker is located in Union Canal Tunnel Park. Marker is in this post office area: Lebanon PA 17046, United States of America.
 
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. ¼ mile 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
 
Union Canal image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 31, 2015
3. Union Canal
Sign in the Union Canal Tunnel Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 31, 2015
4. Sign in the Union Canal Tunnel Park
 
 
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 208 times since then and 46 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.
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