Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084

April 13, 2017



April 13, 2017 • 5:30 p.m.
Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Road, Pocono Pines, Pa.

Speaker: Martha Capwell-Fox — The Story of the Lehigh Navigation

The first HATT meeting of 2017 started as Dick Cary welcomed everyone, members and non-members alike. He led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The place was packed with about 46 people. Some were even sitting on the floor.

Dick reminded all members to pay their dues and told all that membership forms were available on the library’s sign-in desk.

Dick introduced speaker Martha Capwell-Fox, who is the archives and museum coordinator for the National Canal Museum in Easton.

She explained that the Lehigh River was the only privately owned river in the U.S. until 1966, when it was given to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Coal was quarried in 1790, it being so close to the surface, but they had no way of getting it to the masses. They lost a lot of money. It took an acre of coal to make a half ton of coal. There was no coal in Virginia or England, and they could sell it for $400 a bushel.

Erskine Hazard and Joshia White went to Harrisburg to get money to build the canal. The river was surveyed — it was fast, rocky, shallow and no Indians. The canal as originally built was 46 miles long, with nine dams and 48 locks. They eventually hired the people that had just finished building the Erie Canal.

Torrential rain in 1862 wiped out all dams but three, which remain today. There are still two lock tenders’ houses standing in Walnutport that were built in 1828.

In 2018 will be the 250th anniversary of the first record of using coal.

By this time in the program it was 6:45 and people, including me, had to leave.

Respectfully submitted, Kris Avery, vice president & substitute secretary.