News articles and history about PA waterways, highways, railroads and other transporatation
Roads and Highways
- Completing of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Road (1819)
- Completing the York and Gettysburg Turnpike (1819)
- State Road from Dillsburg to Berlin (1829)
Canals and Waterways
- Commissioners of the Danville and Pottsville Railroad Company Elected
- Commissioners Appoint Surveyors
- Railroad to be Laid From Harrisburg Through Cumberland and Franklin Counites (1829)
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
Completing of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Road
The Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA
June 16, 1819
The section of the northern Pennsylvania Turnpike Road between Huntingdon and the junction of Blacklick and
Conemaugh, 38 miles including the Allegheny mountain and Laurel Hill, is said to be completely turnpiked, at an
average expense of a little more than $3000 a mile. - Greens Gaz.
Completing the York and Gettysburg Turnpike
The Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA
December 8, 1819
The York and Gettysburg turnpike is completed - this road was the only link wanting to a chain to connect Chambersburg
and the city of Philadelphia by a turnpike. This route will shorten the distance between Lancaster and Chambersburg
about 15 miles, which going and coming on bad roads would make a whole day's ride. On the 1st of January next daily
stages will begin to run between Lancaster and Chambersburg, on this road.
Managers of the Hanover and Carlisle Turnpike Road Elected
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) May 31, 1826
The following gentlemen were elected Managers of the Hanover and Carlisle Turnpike road for one year by the
Stockholders and Commissioners of Adams and Cumberland counties, on the 1st of May instant, at the House of Mr.
John Blake, Innkeeper, Hampton, viz.
Dr. Samuel E. Hall
Mr. Robert McFarlane
Dr. George D. Foulke
Mr. John Moore
Dr. Daniel Sheffer
And on the 18th inst., at the first meeting of the above named gentlemen, Dr. Samuel E. Hall was chosen President,
Dr. Daniel Sheffer, Treasurer and Dr. George D. Foulke, Secretary.
Bill Passed to Make Turnpike to Maryland Line
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, March 12, 1828
A bill has passed the Legislature of Pennsylvania, we understand, appropriating $20,000 to assist in making a Turnpike
from this place to the Maryland line, in the direction towards Hagerstown.
State Road from Dillsburg to Berlin (1829)
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, February 18, 1829
The bill, an act authorizing laying out of a state road from Dillsburg, in the county of York, to the town of Berlin,
in the county of Adams, was passed by the Senate, on the 6th int.
CANALS AND WATERWAYS
Improvement of The Susquehanna
Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
November 6 1822, Page 3
From the Harrisburg Commonwealth
The Lancaster Gazette of the 24th ult, in noticing the internal improvements of the State, asks why the work
upon the Susquehanna has not been resumed the present season? We can assure the editor of that paper, that the
work has never been suspended, and that it has been progressing all summer, as far as the means and the money appropriated
would reach. We have conversed with Mr. Abbot Green, the commissioner for improving the navigation of the Susquehanna
from the mouth of Juniata to Northumberland, and find that he had has from 15 to 35 hands under his immediate inspection,
busily engaged during the whole of the season, or since the 27th of July.
At Girtie's falls, at a place commonly called the Notch, which formerly would admit of but one ark or raft at
a time, he has formed a channel 45 feet in width, and six inched deeper than formerly - and he has blown off all
the scattering rock in or near the channel, from the Notch of Montgomery's Island
Last season he widened the narrow ascending course at Berrier's falls, and removed a number of rocks.
This season he has deepened the course at Crow's fish dam. He has blown off all the rocks for the space of ten
rods in width, in the ark and raft course at Bargar's ripples, and deepened the low-water boat course, outside
of the island, at the same ripples, which now admit two arks abreast, in the lowest water.
Arks can now run at Maughentengo, which was one of the worst places on the river. At this spot much difficulty
presented itself and a vast deal of labour was necessary in removing large and permanent gravel beds and cutting
through a solid rock for a considerable distance. The water had then to be collected by extensive wing dams.
He has also widened the course both in the lower and upper bar at M'Kees' falls, so that two arks or rafts can
pass abreast at any stage of water that will float them in either places.
At Shamokin, where the water was in tolerable arking order, rafts, boats, & C. had to take the east of Sunbury
side. He has now made a course on the west side, 45 feet wide, sufficient for all kinds of river craft to pass
through in any pitch of water.
This we think is doing a great deal, and together with the exertions of other commissioners on the river, with
whom we are acquainted, leaves no room to complain at this time, of the improvement of the Susquehanna.
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
May 7 1823 Page 2
From the Albany Daily Advertiser.
As the public attention has been drawn to the Chesapeake and Delaware canal, the following information may not
In 1801, a company of gentlemen were incorporated for the purpose of making a canal to connect the tide waters
of the Chesapeake with those of the Delaware bay.
In 1803 and 1804, Benjamin H. Latrobe, Cornelius Howard and John Thompson, surveyed almost every part of the
peninsula which appeared suitable for canalling, and maps, plans and estimates were made of various routes for
this canal; which being laid before the board of directors, they decided in favour of a route, which commencing
at Welch Point on Elk River, about six miles below Elkton, crossed the peninsula obliquely in a north easterly
direction, to Mendenhall's landing on Christiana creek, about four miles above Wilmington, from whence to the Delaware,
a distance of six or seven miles, this creek has a depth of 10 or 12 feet of water at high tide. A canal along
this route would be about 21 ½ miles in length, have a summit level of about 13 miles in length, and would
require 20 locks, including the two tide locks.
In 1822, William Strickland, of Philadelphia, surveyed a route for this canal, which commencing on the Delaware,
about 40 miles below Philadelphia, at a place about half a mile above Fort Delaware erected on Pea Patch Island,
crossed the peninsula nearly at right angles, and arrived at Welch Point on Elk river, by a route 17 ½ miles
in length, three miles of which would be through Back creek, where the water is from 8 to 24 feet deep at low tide;
a canal following this route would have a summit level five miles in length, and requires 18 locks, including the
In 1823, John Randel, Jun., of Albany, surveyed a route for this canal, which commenced and terminated near
the same points with that laid out by Mr. Strickland, would have the same length, but its summit level would be
one mile in length, and 16 locks would be needed, including the two tide locks.
Each of these plans depended for their supply of water upon Elk river and White Clay creek, both of which could
be carried to the canal as laid out by Mr. Latrobe, by two feeders, which together, would amount to a length of
17 miles; to the route laid out by Mr. Stickland, by 20 miles of feeder, and to the route laid out by Mr. Randel,
by 22 miles of feeder.
In 1804 Mr. Latrobe estimated the supply of water which could be derived to the canal from Elk river, at 190
locks full per day, which would be sufficient for the passage of about 38vessels across the summit. In 1807, he
estimated the daily supply at 144 locks full, which would pass 29 vessels daily.
In 1823, Mr. Randal measured this stream, and found its average daily for the whole year amount only to 79 locks
full, which would pass 16 vessels across the summit; but that in the months of July, August, September and October,
the daily supply was only 30 locks full, and would be competent for the passage of 6 vessels across the summit,
or 3 each way the whole length of the canal. The supply of water from White Clay creek will be about equal to that
from the Elk river.
The route recommended by Mr. Randal is located at a place where the tides of the two bays have originally approached
within 4 ½ miles of each other, and were separated by a hill consisting apparently of gravelly loam, having
an average height of only 35 feet above the level of the tide. By the plan last mentioned, this canal was to have
been carried upon the level of the tide, from which it would receive its supply of water to the east and west foot
of this hill, and the locks which were required to surmount this hill, were to be fed from the before-mentioned
streams. The plan which he recommends as the most eligible for this route is to cut down this hill to the depth
of the canal below the level of flood tide; to have a tide lock at each bay, which would make still water, and
prevent a current in the canal, and to feed the canal from the Delaware having the ocean for its reservoir. Should
this plan be adopted, the extra cost of deep cutting would, Mr. Randal thinks, be more than balanced by the savings
in making 17 miles of feeder, 18 locks, 100 acres of reservoir, purchasing from 7 to 10 water rights, together
with aqueducts, culverts, & c with the cost and disastrous contingencies to which they are liable; even though
no account be made of the abundance in the supply of water. And should the deep cutting prove to be, as its external
surface indicates a canal for ships can be made to connect the two bays, at a cost not exceeding that of one for
sloops, if carried across the hill by locks, and fed by the above mentioned streams.
Shafts have not yet been sunk to test the kind of earth to be removed from the deep cut. This Mr. Randel is
to do as early in the season as his other engagements will permit.
Benjamin Wright, of Rome, is also appointed to explore this peninsula, and report for this canal the route which
he may think most eligible. Should this latter plan be adopted and vigorously pursued, in four years time ships
might pass from Philadelphia to sea by the way of the Chesapeake. The water communication between Philadelphia
and Baltimore would be shortened about three hundred miles, and the produce from the Susquehannah, when at Havre
de Grace, would, by this route, be within about 20 miles as near to Philadelphia as to Baltimore.
When this canal shall be completed, there will only remain the New Jersey canal to be made, to give an inland
water communication from the Capes of Virginia to Rhode Island, which in time of war would be invaluable. This
canal was laid out by Mr. Randel in 1815, (29 miles in length, and 63 feet above the tide,) under commissioners
appointed by the Legislature of New Jersey. It was intended for the passage of sloops, but could be made of dimensions
competent for the passage of ships as a cost not exceeding about 25 or 30 per centum above that of constructing
the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, and would shorten the water communication between the cities of Philadelphia
and New York about 180 miles.
If in addition to these canals, the ship canal projected by E. c. Genet, Esq. and laid out by Mr. Randel in
1819, under commissioners appointed by the legislature of New York, be made from Albany, a distance of 13 miles,
to the deep water at New Baltimore, (which would not exceed about half of the cost of eh Chesapeake and Delaware
canal,) then the termination of the Erie and Champlain canals at Albany would be accessible by ships as well as
coasting vessels, by an inland communication from any port between Virginia and Rhode Island.
It will at once be perceived, that as the water communication between Virginia and Lake Champlain would be nearly
in a northerly direction, every mile you advance along it would give a change of latitude and a consequent change
in the productions of the earth, as well as in the wants of the inhabitants. The advantages which would result
from canals giving such facilities for the exchange of the products of different climates, and of friendly intercourse
between the citizens of different states, could not fail to be productive of the most salutary consequences, both
in a pecuniary as well as moral and political point of view.
Great Valley Canal
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 28, 1824 Page 1
It give us pleasure to be able to say, that Mr. Hains, and the gentlemen who were with him, Mr. J. R. Thomas
and Mr. C. Downing, have finished taking the levels, contemplated by them, for several miles on each side of the
Gap. Their perseverance in this inclement season is truly praiseworthy.
From the examination made, the important facts are fully ascertained.
1. That the Canal is practicable from the Susquehannah, through the Great Valley to Philadelphia.
2. That there may be obtained a full and overflowing supply of water at the summit level.
3. That the difficulties to be overcome are not great than in other works of the kind, of the same distance.
If the people up the Susquehanah and those of the city choose to unite their exertions they can have a canal
that shall insure beyond the possibility of doubt, the trade of the Susquehannah river to Philadelphia. - Village
North Western Canal
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) February 18, 1824 Page 1
Harrisburg, Feb. 3
It may not be remembered by our readers, that a law was passed last session "direction the survey of a
route for a canal between lake Erie and French creek." It nevertheless was the fact; and "Thomas Forster
of Erie county, James Herrinton of Crawford county, and Wm. Marks, jr. (Speaker of Senate) of Allegheny county,"
were the commissioners named in the law, "to view and explore all the contemplated routes, for connecting
the waters of Lake Erie and French creek, by canal and slack water navigation." The report of the commissioners
was transmitted to both branches of the legislature, on Friday last, by the governor, and is of considerable interest.
Its great length precludes the practicability, or at least the propriety, of publishing it in our paper, under
present circumstances. It appears the commissioners explored four different routes, two of which were abandoned,
as impracticable; two more were surveyed, leveled, and the expense estimated; and a very handsome profile accompanied
the report; which is placed in one of the committee rooms of senate. Both routes connect with French creek, at
the outlet of Conniaut marsh, a distance of 20 miles and 301 perches from the town of Franklin, where French creek
empties into the Allegheny river, about 120 miles above Pittsburgh. In this distance there is an elevation of 70
feet, which is to be overcome with seven locks.
The western route proceeds up the march to Conniaut lake, a distance of 12 miles and 2 perches, ie which there
is an elevation of only 8 feet. This lake, together with a ridge, 16 feet deep, are to form a summit level of 5
miles and 210 perches. Thence 19 miles and 44 perches to with 7 miles and 140 perches to within 7 miles and 140
perches of Lake Erie, with a fall of 209 feet, to be overcome by 21 locks, where a choice is left, of two routes,
the nearest of which is 18 miles from Erie Harbor. In this distance, there is a fall of 260 feet, to embrace 26
locks. There cannot be a safe harbor here, by reason of the shoalness of the water.
The whole distance from the Allegheny, at Franklin, to Lake Eire, at the mouth of Elk creek or Crooked creek
is 65 miles and 75 perches, with 548 feet of lockage, which will require 54 locks. The expense of this route is
estimated at $632,970 50 cents.
The eastern route passes by Meadville and Waterford, to Erie Harbor, following the direction of French creek,
to Le Boeff creek, crossing it 5 times, and thence to Erie Harbor. The whole distance, by this route, is 73 miles
and 27 perches; having 868 feet of lockage to overcome; which will require 86 locks. The summit level, on this
route, is 630 feet above the level of Erie Harbor; and this is at a distance of only 8 miles and 197 perches. The
estimate of the route is $921,480 47.
The summit level, of the eastern route, is 160 feet higher than that of the western; and must be supplied by
a feeder, from the forks of French creek, 13 miles and 27 perches in length. The Allegheny, at Franklin, is ascertained
to be 392 feet higher than Lake Erie. - Penn. Intel.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
August 18 1824
Union, Pa. Aug 3
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
The board of Engineers have finished their first general reconnaissance of the Eastern and middle sections of
this great national design; and we are happy to learn, that no doubt is entertained of it practicability; though
much rough, rugged and steep ground is presented along the ravines of both the Youghioghany and Cheat rivers. Yet,
it is said, no difficulty has occurred so great or so appalling as those which have been encountered and overcome
on the New York Canal, especially on the Mohawk river.
The board have been indefatigable in their labors, nothing has been permitted, we believe, for a single day,
to interrupt them. Having made out instructions for the different brigades of engineers ordered upon the work,
they left here a few days since, with a view to examine the Monongahela to Pittsburg, and thence proceed to the
examination of that section of the canal, which is to unite the Ohio river with Lake Erie by the Beaver and Grand
rivers. When this is completed, it is understood, that the board are to join the Pennsylvania commissioners at
Pittsburg; and proceed with them, to the examination of the Susquehanna, & c.
The distribution of the Engineers upon the work, we understand, has been according to the following plan of
operation: Major Abert's brigade (as heretofore stated) has been ordered on the eastern section of the work; extending
from the mouth of Savage river on the Potomac to the city of Washington. The summit level, has been divided into
two sections: the first extending from the bridge on Deep creek, to the mouth of Savage river. The other extending
westwardly, from the bridge to the mouth of Bear creek. The eastern section is assigned to the brigade under the
command of Capt. M'Neil; the western section to that under the direction of Mr. Shriver. When these gentlemen shall
have completed their labor on the summit level Capt. M'Neil, we understand, will in pursuance of his instructions,
survey a middle route along equal distant from the Youghioghany and Cheat river, crossing the Youghioghany at the
mouth of bear creek thence through the Virginia and Pennsylvania grades by the roads of Sandy creek to the Lau(?)
(?), which may be passed by a short tunnel at the town of Monroe, and (?ener) by the ravine of Redstone creek to
the Monongahela. While Mr. Shriver, with the brigade will be employed in surveying the route along the Youghioghany
river from the mouth of Bear creek to tis confluence with the Monongahela. Those gentlemen, we are informed, are
also instructed by the board to run levels along the foot of the Laurel Hill from the middle route to the Cheat
and the Youghioghany, with a view to ascertain whether a portion of their waters may not be profitably used as
feeders to the middle route. Each brigade consists of from 4 to 6 engineers, and from 12 to 13 hands. Several of
the recent graduates of the military academy have been ordered on to join those brigades with a view, no doubt,
to qualify them to enter upon the important duties which will be demanded by the country in prosecuting the grand
national system of internal improvement, which has been so happily commenced during the last session of Congress;
and from which the nation may safely promise itself the most glorious and important results. - Genius of Liberty.
Canal Between Mount Carbon and Reading
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
September 29, 1824
From the Philadelphia Gaz., Sept. 24
Seventy-five boats laden with 30,000 bushels of coal, and other merchandize, from Mount Carbon, have passed
the locks at Reading, and may be expected to arrive at this city, this eveing or tomorrow morning. This is very
important intelligence as in it is implied that the improvements of the Schuylkill are completed, so far at least
that boats can pass up and down that river for a distance of 110 miles. In Pennsylvania we have long had turnpike
roads which would no do discredit to the most populous kingdoms in Europe, but this is the first instance of our
completing an artificial navigation of any considerable extent. Between Mount Carbon and Philadelphia there are
120 locks. Sixty three miles of the whole distance consist of navigable canal, and the rest of slack water navigation
in pools formed by the dams.
Erie Canal Transportation Company
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) October 13 1824
This company is formed of men of the first respectability in the state of New York. Messrs. Phelps and Meech
superintend its general concerns. They have established four daily lines of boats between Albany and Lockport,
the present termination of the Canal, and pass at the average rate of fity miles every twenty-four hours. They
engage to deliver property at Buffalo in 12 days; and at any point on the south shore of Lake Erie from 1 to 3
days. Price of transportation, to Buffalo $1.50 per hundred (112 lbs.) - from Buffalo to Erie, &c. 25 cents
per hundred, including all charges for storage. When the Canal is navigable from Lockport to Buffalo, it is allege,
the price of transportation will be reduced to $1 per hundred. - Meadville Messenger.
Delaware and Chesapeake Canal
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) April 6, 1825
We learn from a gentleman who has just returned from a tour of inspection that the workmen on the Delaware and
Chesapeake Canal are proceeding with great rapidity. During the winter six hundred men were kept at work. This
number is now increased to twelve hundred and employment will be given to several thousands as soon as they can
The tide lock at the debouche into the Delaware stood like adamant. Excavations have been begun for the lock
at the western extremity of the canal; and the work will this summer be carried on as it was during last, on the
whole line of the canal. In 1827, the canal will be navigable; and in four years from the date of the commencement
of the work, the stockholders will, in all probability, receive a dividend on their investments. - Philad. Gaz.
Canal Between Reading and Philadelphia Completed
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) April 12, 1826
Reading, April 1
The Canal between this place and Philadelphia is now in navigable order. On Wednesday the Canal boat De Witt
Clinton cleared with a cargo valued at $2,400. The Charles Chauncy well freighted cleared on Tuesday and the Brewer's
Tender, freighted with whiskey &c. cleared on Thursday, all for Philadelphia. The upper section of the canal
between this place and the coal mines has been partially filled with water for the purpose of puddling, and may
be expected to be in navigable order early next week.
About 20 miles of this work has been tried with admirable success. A boat with 32 passengers sailed several
miles upon it. With the exception of the absorption incident to all new embankments, not a leak of consequence
has occurred. In the month of May it is thought very probable that the whole line from the summit level to this
place will be in full operation. - Jour.
Survey of Proposed Route from Susquehanna to Potomac
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) July 19, 1826
Carlisle, July 13,
Canal Route - John Mitchell, Esq., who has been appointed by the Board of Canal Commissioners, to make a survey
of the proposed route for a canal from the Susquehanna to the Potomac, through this valley, entered upon the duties
a short time since. He, with his associates, encamped on the bank of the Conodoguine; near the Cave, on the eve
of Wednesday week last whence they proceeded on their route the next morning. Since their departure from the vicinity
of this place, we have received no account of them. We understand they commenced at Harrisburg. - Volunteer.
1828 Improvements to Pennsylvania Canals and Rail Roads
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, July 16, 1828
We have received the following information as to the state of works and improvements in Pennsylvania as exhibited
at the last meeting of the Canal Commissioners at Harrisburg.
From Pittsburg up to the Kiskiminetas, to the Saltworks, 55 miles, will be finished except the aquaducts, in
From Saltworks to Blairsville, 50 miles, will be done by the 1st November. There are two tunnels on this route.
From Midletown to the mouth of the Juniata will be finished this season, 24 miles.
From the mouth of Juniata, up the Juniata, to Lewistown, 45 miles, in a state of great forwardness, will be
navigable next summer.
From the mouth of Juniata to Northumberland, in a very forward state, will be navigable next summer, 41 miles.
From Bemis' mill, on French creek, to Conneaut outlet, 9 miles nearly completed. The remainder of the feeder
will be contracted for as soon as possible and urged rapidly to completion.
From Bristol, on the Delaware to Taylor's Ferry, 18 miles - the excavation is finished with trifling exceptions;
the aqueducts and culverts contracted for and to be finished this season. Bridges and Locks to be contracted for
immediately. From Taylor's Ferry to New Hope, 7 miles, is under contract and to be completed by next spring.
Twenty-five miles on the North Branch, including a feeder from Nanticoke Falls, to be contracted for early in
At the next meeting, the Board will probably take order on putting under contract the additional lines authorized
by law, on the Juniata, Conemaugh, Susquehannah, and its branches, Delaware and the Columbia Rail Road. As to the
latter, (Columbia Rail Road) no decision has been made upon the location.
With this note and a map of Pennsylvania before him, anyone will be able to trace the several lines and to perceive
the extent of the facilities to internal commerce, which will be afforded in the next 18 months. There will be
more than 500 miles of Canal in Pennsylvania, besides Rail Roads to the extent of upward of 150 miles. - U.S. Gazette.
Ice Damaged Dams on Canals (1829)
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, March 25, 1829
Harrisburg, March 16.
The dam at Duncan's Island and the piers, with the western abutment have been greatly injured. On Thursday last
about 400 feet of the Shamokin Dam gave way before the ice, and the timber of which it was constructed was floating
plentifully past this place during part of Friday. On Saturday, the ice again covered the eastern channel of the
river and there came with it abundance of timber it is supposed from the same dam. … It is said, and we believe
truly, that $200,000 will not repair the damage done to the canal works on the Susquehanna and Juniata by the late
ice storm. Every person who has resided in the neighborhood of either of these rivers knows that this ice flood
was a small affair in comparison with those that have been witnessed within the last 15 or 20 years. If then, before
the canal works are completed, an ordinary ice flood damages them to such an extent, how much greater will be the
damage and consequently the cost of repairing it, when the works shall be completed?
We have been, now are and expect to remain the advocates of the canal system, but in the same degree we are opposed
to dams in our large navigable streams. Dams across such a stream as the Susquehanna, for the purpose of feeding
a canal is transcendently preposterous. - Chronicle.
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, March 25, 1829
The injury done to the dam in the Narrows by the Ice flood is not so serious as was at first apprehended. The abutments
have partly fallen, but the dam itself is not materially injured. The dam at Millerstown, it is understood, is
not much damaged. The editor of the Harrisburg Chronicle is greatly mistaken as to the amount of damage done on
this line of canal. We have good authority to say that the damage on the Juniata canal will not exceed $3,500.
- Juniata Gazette.
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, March 25, 1829
Sunbury, PA, March 12.
The immense body of ice on the river extending from the Shamokin dam to the Northumberland point broke up on Monday
last and passed over the dam, without producing any apparent injury. The water, however, continued to rise and
on Tuesday night last an additional quantity of ice was discharged from the branches, which we regret to state
materially injured the dam and other parts of the public works. The capping and planking of the dam have in several
places been torn away and the sluice is almost entirely destroyed. We fear the injury will not stop here. - Emporium.
April 1829 Canal News
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, April 22, 1829
Sunbury, April 9.
Fifty-six Arks passed this borough yesterday morning, before 10 o'clock, laden with various kinds of produce from
the two branches. - Emporium.
Our readers will be somewhat surprised, after reading the report of the Canal Commissioners to the Legislature,
which states that the whole amount of damage done to the public works by the late ice freshet, does not exceed
$17,000 - when it will cost $26,000 at least, to re-build the Shamokin dam. If the object of the Canal Commissioners
was to deceive the Legislature, we think it right that the deception should be exposed. We shall be agreeably mistaken
if $50,000 repair the injuries sustained by the Pennsylvania Canal, in consequence of the late freshet. - Sunbury
Harrisburg, April 16.
The Canal Commissioners Bill was not returned by the Governor, to the House of Representatives yesterday and ten
days having elapsed since it was presented to him, it has by a constitutional provision, become a law without his
The Union Canal is in full operation and Middletown presents a scene of much bustle and business, occasioned by
the arrival and departure, the loading and unloading of boats, &c.
From Fishing creek, seven miles above Harrisburg, to the basin here, this canal appears to hold water. A breach
in the French Drain made under the canal, near the brick yards in this town, suffered the water to escape, but
has been repaired within the last two weeks. The Aqueduct across Paxton creek, about three-quarters of a mile below
the aforesaid French drain, next proved leaky, and has been undergoing repair - perhaps it is repaired. But before
the water of the canal was put upon the Aqueduct, a French drain about midway between the first mentioned French
drain and the Aqueduct gave way and permitted the water to pass out. Hands are at work in its repair this morning.
These contemptible drains under a great public work will be found more expensive than substantial Culverts. The
canal has sundry weak points between Harrisburg and Middletown, so that it is impossible to tell when the canal
will be navigable between those places. - Chronicle
1829 Chesapeake and Delaware Canal News
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, July 28, 1829
Philadelphia, July 7
At two o'clock on Saturday afternoon, the anniversary of our National Independence, the embankments at the summit
of the Chesapeake and Delaware canal were opened, and the water was admitted into the whole line. The President,
Directors and Secretary of the Company, attended by the Mayor of Philadelphia, the superintendent of the works,
the principal and assistant engineers and a number of respectable citizens of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware,
having embarked in a barge, proceeded along the canal from the locks at the western extremity to the summit bridge,
near which the last embankment was removed. Here they were welcomed by a great concourse of people, a large body
of troops from Baltimore and repeated discharges of artillery. After remaining for some time, the barge proceeded
eastward to the tide lock of the Delaware, thus navigating the whole line of the canal.
To those who had not before seen the work, the vast excavation of the deep cut, the length and height of the stone
walls by which it is lines, the width and loftiness of the summit bridge, the broad sheet of water, and the large
scale on which all parts have been executed, could not fail to occasion much surprise and admiration.
The repairs at the Delaware tide lock and the completion of such portions of the canal as have been necessarily
left to the last, will not, it is said, occupy many weeks. We may, therefore, expect to see the regular intercourse
between the two bays soon carried on through a channel so long desired and expected.
The barges constructed for the accommodation of passengers, one of which was used on Saturday for passing through
the line, are beautiful specimens of the naval architecture of Baltimore and in room, convenience and elegance,
present a striking contrast to the small packet boats which usually navigate canals. They are ninety feet in length
and twenty-one feet wide, having two very commodious cabins. The inclement weather caused much inconvenience to
those who were assembled at the canal, and particularly to the troops, exposed as they were, almost knee-deep in
mud, to drenching rains. The appearance and air of the Baltimore volunteers were eminently creditable. It is certain
that the number of the spectators would have been very considerably greater, if the day had been fine. In this
city a Sabbath-like tranquility prevailed, as usual. The storm frustrated the expected enjoyments of a multitude.
It came malapropos indeed; and its continuance until Sunday afternoon was a severe trial for the patience of everyone
that counted the double holiday as an epoch for recreation abroad. - Nat. Gaz.
November 1830 Canal News
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, November 2, 1830
Harrisburg, Oct. 25
Until Wednesday last, there was not enough of water at the summit level of the Union Canal, for the passage of
loaded Boats. But on that day they were able to pass and the commerce upon the Canal has been brisk ever since.
The Pennsylvania canal was navigable several days before the Union and so continues from Middletown to Clark's
Ferry and the Juniata canal from Clark's Ferry to Lewistown. The Susquehanna Canal above Clark's Ferry is not navigable.
The Mifflin Eagle of the 21st inst. says. -
" The water was let into the Lewistown and Huntingdon division of the Juniata canal from the Augwick falls
about 26 miles above this place on Tuesday last. The only barrier to letting in the water from Huntingdon we learn,
is the unfinished state of the two acqueducts across the river."
The Blairsville Record, of the 21st says. -
The Canal - The water was let into the canal on Tuesday morning last at this place. The whole line to Pittsburg
will be navigable in a very few days.
"The line from this place to Johnstown is so near completion that it will be ready for the reception of the
water sometime in the ensuing month." - Harrisburg Chron.
Commissioners of the Danville and Pottsville Railroad Company Elected
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) May 10, 1826
Daniel Montgomery, George A. Frick and Andrew M'Reynolds of Columbia Co.; John C. Boyd of Northumberland Co.;
Benjamin Pott, Francis B. Nichal, Gen. Taylor and John C. Offerman of Schuylkill Co., Daniel Graeff of Berks Co.,
G. W. smith and Mark Richards of the city of Philadelphia, have been appointed commissioners to superintend the
erection of a Railroad between Danville and Pottsville.
We have little doubt but stock to this work will be readily taken; the mining privileges connected with the
charter make it an object of primary importance to the capitalist. Should the road answer the purpose it will be
profitable confined to the coal trade alone and should the Schuylkill canal company reduce their tolls to a reasonable
rate, wheat may, no doubt be sent from Danville to Philadelphia at 14 cents per bushel and flour at less than 60
cents per barrel. - States Adve.
Commissioners Appoint Surveyors
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) June 14, 1826
Hezekiah Boone and Joseph Prutzman of Columbia county having been appointed by the commissioners of the Danville
and Pottsville railroad company, to explore and level a route for the contemplated road, have reported that they
have performed that service and that a road can be made from the Ferry opposite Danville to Pottsville on an ascent
and descent not to exceed six inches in a perch and the distance not to exceed 40 miles which will only extend
the road between this place and Pottsville five miles. - Danville Watchman.
Railroad to be Laid From Harrisburg Through Cumberland and Franklin Counites (1829)
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, January 28, 1829
Monday, Jan. 19
The Speaker laid before the House a letter, with a report on a survey of a Rail Road line from the West end of
the Harrisburg Bridge, through Cumberland and Franklin counties to the borough of Chambersburg, by Wm. R. Hopkins,Esq.
Engineer. Also, an estimate of the cost of constructing a rail road on the route above mentioned, with a draft
and profile of the above mentioned line. A report of the same engineer on the survey of a rail road line from Chambersburg
through Gettysburg to the borough of York. And on motion of Mr. Alexander, the same were referred to the committee
on inland navigation and internal improvements.
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