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Pennsylvania Transportation
The Delaware and Hudson Canal

The Delaware and Hudson Canal was the first venture of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, which later developed the Delaware and Hudson Railway. Between 1828 and 1899, its barges carried anthracite coal from the mines of Northeastern Pennsylvania to New York City via the Hudson River. This affected both the city and the region, stimulating the former's growth and encouraging settlement in the latter, then sparsely populated. It remained a profitable private operation for most of its existence, unlike other canals of the era. Construction of the canal involved some major feats of civil engineering, and led to the development of some new technologies, particularly in rail transport. - Wikipedia

Excavation For the Delaware and Hudson Canal/ Contract for 5 Miles of the Farmington Connecticut Canal

(Source: Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) September 21, 1825)


The excavation for the Delaware and Hudson Canal is stated to be going on with great briskness. Considerable progress has already been made. The seventeen miles put out in July last, will be completed in two or three weeks. It is calculated that if the same ardor is persevered in, with which the work was commenced, there can be no doubt but in two years from this fall, the union of the Delaware and Hudson will be effected.

We learn that contracts for constructing five miles of the Farmington (Connecticut) Canal were made on the 5th ult., and the considerable labor on each half mile section throughout this line. Further contracts have also been completed for another line of 16 miles, extending to a point about 3 miles above Farmington. The whole of the above contracts have been made with men of skill and respectability. A majority of them have had great experience in building the Erie Canal. It is now rendered certain that about $100,000 will be expended in actual labor of this canal this season. - Ib.

The Delaware and Hudson Canal
(Source: Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, Pa., February 6, 1828)

From the Pennsylvania Gazette
The Delaware and Hudson Canal commences at Kingston on the Hudson river and runs over to the Delaware river through the valley of the Neversink creek, thence up the valley of the Delaware to the Lackawanen creek and up that creek to the foot of the Railway. This is a continuous canal of 117 miles in length and was completed from the Delaware to the Hudson last autumn and it is expected the whole line will be completed by July of this year, 1828.
The Railway commences at the termination of the canal and runs over Moosick mountain to the caol mines on the Lackawannock creek, in length 16? Miles, overcoming an elevation of 858 feet. Seven locomotive steam engines will be employed on three planes and five stationary engines and three brakes on the ascents. The ascents, where the stationary engines and brakes are used, are graded at 5 degrees. The railway and all its appurtenances will be completed in all 1828 at an estimated expense of $178,000. The cost of each locomotive engine, about $1,600 and weighs about six tons.

Delaware and Hudson Canal
(Source: Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, January 7, 1829)

From the Albany Argus

The public seems scarcely aware that a Canal one hundred and six miles in length, commencing at the tide water near Kingston (NY), and terminating at Honesdale, in Pennsylvania, has been completed since July, 1828; and that this great work has been accomplished principally by the enterprise and perseverance of an individual company. As the channel for conveying coal to the navigable waters of the Hudson, this canal must be regarded as an improvement of incalculable importance to the public, if not of indispensable necessity, in supplying the exhaustion of fuel occasioned by the great increase of steam engines.
The first squadron of boats, loaded with coal, arrived at tide water on the 5th. Fifty tons of this coal have been consigned to the Messrs. Townsends, which will afford our citizens an opportunity of testing its quality.

From gentlemen who have recently been through on the whole line of the Canal, we learn that the work has been executed in the most permanent manner and that in its construction, durability and economy are judiciously combined. This canal is 32 to 36 feet wide, upon the water line and has 4 feet depth of water. The locks are 76 feet in length between the gates and 9 feet wide. The boats are estimated to carry 25 to 30 tons.

From the mouth of the Rondout, where it connects with the Hudson, to Port Jervis (NY), near the Delaware River, is a distance of 59 miles; on this section are 60 lift locks and one guard lock of hammered stone, laid chiefly in hydraulic cement. There are also one aqueduct over the Neversink river 224 feet in length, upon stone piers and abutments; one over the Rondout entirely of stone upon two arches, one of 60 and the other of 50 feet chord; and ten others of various dimensions upon stone piers and abutments, over lateral streams; 15 culverts of stone and 93 bridges having stone abutments and wing walls.

Port Jervis is less than a mile from Carpenter's point, formed by the junction of the Neversink and Delaware rivers, and at which point, the States of New York and New Jersey, corner upon Pennsylvania. Port Jervis affords a view of the territory of three States and also of the Delaware river and the fertile valley of the Neversink.
From this point, the line of canal is carried along on the east side of the Delaware to a point opposite the mouth of the Lackawaxen River. At this place a dam has been erected across the Delaware by means of which the canal is fed and boats cross the river. From M'Carty's point, which is formed by the junction of the Lackawaxen with the Delaware, the canal follows up the valley of the Lackawaxen,25 miles, to the forks of the Dyberry, at which point the canal terminates, and where a thriving village is already established called Honesdale.

On the Delaware section of 22 miles there are 13 wooden locks, and on the Lackawaxen section of 25 miles are 37 locks of the same description. These locks are secured by a substantial dry stone wall and so constructed that the wooden lining can be taken out and replaced, without disturbing the rest of the lock.
Honesdale, where the canal terminates, is 16 miles distant from the coal region. Over this 16 miles, the coal is to be transported upon a rail road, which is already in great forwardness. The structure of the rail road is of timber, with iron plates securely fastened to the timber rails with screws. The plates are estimated to weigh nearly 260 tons. The railway is to be furnished with 5 stationary and 5 locomotive steam engines. It is estimated that this rail road and its appendages will transport 540 tons per day, in one direction. The steam engines for the rail road were taken up as soon as the canal was navigable and it is expected the rail road will be in operation as early as June next. The rail road terminates at Carbondale, on the Lackawanna river, where several hundred tons of coal have already been quarried and transported to the canal by rail road.

The coal of the Lackawanna has been tested and proves to be of the first quality for working iron, as well as for the ordinary purposes of fuel. As to quantity, there can be no reasonable doubt on the subject. A visit to Carbondale, and the coal region in its vicinity, will satisfy any person that the supply is inexhaustible. And the canal being now completed, and the rail road nearly finished, our citizens in the cities and villages bordering upon the Hudson may congratulate themselves upon the facilities offered by this great highway for obtaining an inexhaustible supply of fuel.

Rondout Creek is a 63.3-mile-long (101.9 km) tributary of the Hudson River in Ulster and Sullivan counties, New York, USA. It rises on Rocky Mountain in the eastern Catskills, flows south into Rondout Reservoir, part of New York City's water supply network, then into the valley between the Catskills and the Shawangunk Ridge, where it goes over the spectacular High Falls and finally out to the Hudson at Kingston, receiving along the way the Wallkill River.

Neversink River (also called Neversink Creek in its upper course) is a 55-mile-long (89 km)[1] tributary of the Delaware River in southeastern New York in the United States. The name of the river comes from an Algonquian language phrase meaning "mad river."

Dam Nearly Destroyed by Raftmen

Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, April 22, 1829

Easton, Pa., April 10.
Serious Affair
We understand that the Dam across the Delaware, about 70 miles above this place, near the mouth of the Lackawaxen creek, was nearly destroyed by the Raftmen last week. It appears that the late freshet had rendered the dam impassable. A public meeting was held by those who considered themselves aggrieved and a representation sent to the managers that if the obstruction was not immediately removed, they would remove it by force. The request was not complied with, and they accordingly proceeded to the Dam, blew up and tore away about 90 feet of it and succeeded in clearing a passage for their rafts. When it is taken into consideration the immense amount of lumber detained by the dam, and the difficulty and distress consequent thereon, much may be said in extenuation of the affair - tho every good citizen must deprecate these appeals to force rather than to law. - Argus.

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