Lehigh Canal

Carbon County Section of the Lehigh CanalLehigh Canal: Eastern Section Glendon and Abbott Street Industrial SitesLehigh Canal; Allentown to Hopeville SectionLehighLower Lehigh CanalBear Trap Lock systemLehigh Coal and Navigation Canal)Lehigh NavigationLehigh River Canal
The Lehigh Canal or the Lehigh Navigation Canal is a navigable canal, beginning at the mouth of Nesquehoning Creek on the Lehigh River in Eastern Pennsylvania.wikipedia
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Morris Canal

Morris Canal and Banking CompanyMorrisMorris Canal Basin
In Easton the canal met the Delaware and Morris Canals, with which goods could be brought further up the east coast. The canal carried central Lehigh Valley anthracite to northeastern urban markets, particularly Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington, and supporting new industry in Bristol, Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with the Morris and Delaware and Raritan Canals and a number of railroads.
On the canal's western end, at Phillipsburg, a cable ferry allowed Morris Canal boats to cross the Delaware River westward to Easton, Pennsylvania, and travel up the Lehigh Canal to Mauch Chunk, in the anthracite coal regions, to receive their cargoes from the mines.

Ark (river boat)

arkarksriver arks
Disposable skiffs known as arks were built from local timber, which were manned along the lower Lehigh River rapids.
But it was in the role of delivering coal as a fuel to alleviate the long-standing first energy crisis in the eastern United States that the Arks saw their most frequent transport uses because of the 1816 invention of Josiah White's Bear Trap Lock system.

Schuylkill Canal

Schuylkill Navigation CompanySchuylkill NavigationSchuylkill Navigation Canal, Oakes Reach Section
After learning the value of anthracite during the British blockades in 1814, White and Hazard joined a number of Philadelphians in a joint-stock venture to build the Schuylkill Canal but quarreled with those on the board of managers who did not favor rapid development.
But it took the lower Lehigh Canal project's test shipments of coal in 1819 proving the Lehigh's locks concept, the temporary market-glut caused by their 1820 achievements of delivering over 365 tons of Anthracite to Philadelphia, and then the regularly increasing tonnages shipped down to Philadelphia's docks over the next 2–3 years, to excite and inspire the movers and shakers of Pennsylvania and attract far-sighted investors and speculators from all along the Eastern Seaboard cities to capitalize and fund companies.

Lehigh River

LehighLehigh River (West Fork)Lehigh Valley
The Lehigh Canal or the Lehigh Navigation Canal is a navigable canal, beginning at the mouth of Nesquehoning Creek on the Lehigh River in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Josiah White

White
The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, its founder Josiah White and White's protege and partner Erskine Hazard (operations managers into the mid-1860s) established a reputation for innovation.
Having commissioned anthracite shipment by mule train from up the Schuylkill, in 1815 White and Hazard started the Lehigh Canal machinations as commissioners, but were not selected by investors to become the operations managers elected to work out ways and means.

Erskine Hazard

Hazard
The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, its founder Josiah White and White's protege and partner Erskine Hazard (operations managers into the mid-1860s) established a reputation for innovation.
Educated as a geographer and surveyor Hazard would compliment White's mechanical innovations with resourceful use of given landforms and the two would go on together to found what is arguably the most influential company of the first half of the 19th century, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, build the Lehigh Canal, the Ashley Planes, the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad, and a half-dozen other subsidiary railroads and industries, most of which would last into the 1960s.

Bristol, Pennsylvania

BristolBristol, PABristol Borough
The canal carried central Lehigh Valley anthracite to northeastern urban markets, particularly Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington, and supporting new industry in Bristol, Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with the Morris and Delaware and Raritan Canals and a number of railroads.
After 1834, the town became very important to the development of the American Industrial Revolution as the terminus city of the Delaware Canal providing greater Philadelphia with the days High Tech Anthracite fuels from the Lehigh Canal via Easton.

Coal Region

Northern Anthracite Coal FieldregionAnthracite Coal Region
The lower canal connected the eastern part of the southern Coal Region to the Delaware River basin (primarily the Panther Creek Valley, Nesquehoning Creek Valley and mines in Beaver Meadows and along Black Creek), connecting via Penn Haven Junction to the canal head at Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania).
By 1818, customers fed up with the inconsistent mismanagement, leased the Lehigh Coal Mining Company and founded the Lehigh Navigation Company: construction soon began for navigation; the locks and dams on the Lehigh River rapids stretches, later known as the Lehigh Canal (finished in 1820).

Easton, Pennsylvania

EastonEaston, PACity of Easton
The lower section spanned the distance between Easton, Pennsylvania and the town of Mauch Chunk, present-day Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.
The Delaware Canal, was quickly built soon after the lower Lehigh Canal (1818) became effective in regularly and reliably delivering much needed anthracite coal, into more settled lands along the rivers.

Allentown, Pennsylvania

AllentownAllentown, PACity of Allentown
The canal carried central Lehigh Valley anthracite to northeastern urban markets, particularly Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington, and supporting new industry in Bristol, Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with the Morris and Delaware and Raritan Canals and a number of railroads.
The Lehigh Canal was completed for both ascending and descending navigation in 1829, being 46.6 miles long along the east side of the Lehigh River.

Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

D&L TrailD & L TrailDelaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Portions of the canal and the later rail lines flanking it are part of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, a multi-use rail trail.
It follows the historic routes of the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad, Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Lehigh Navigation, Lehigh Canal, and the Delaware Canal, from Bristol (northeast of Philadelphia) to Wilkes-Barre in the northeastern part of the state.

Lehigh Division

Penn Haven Junction
The lower canal connected the eastern part of the southern Coal Region to the Delaware River basin (primarily the Panther Creek Valley, Nesquehoning Creek Valley and mines in Beaver Meadows and along Black Creek), connecting via Penn Haven Junction to the canal head at Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania).
The majority of the Lehigh Division runs along the upper or Grand division of the historic Lehigh Canal.

Pennsylvania Canal (Delaware Division)

Delaware CanalDelaware Division of the Pennsylvania CanalDelaware Division Canal
In Easton the canal met the Delaware and Morris Canals, with which goods could be brought further up the east coast. In 1827, a revision to the Main Line of Public Works funded the promised Delaware Canal.
The Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, more commonly called the Delaware Canal, runs for 60 mi parallel to the right bank of the Delaware River from the entry locks near the mouth of the Lehigh River and terminal end of the Lehigh Canal at Easton south to Bristol.

Anthracite iron

Anthracite pig ironanthracite furnacesanthracite smelting
Although the canal was used to transport a variety of products, its most significant cargoes were anthracite coal and pig iron.
Frustrated by the snail-like progress of improvements that would become the Schuylkill Canal, White & Hazard applied to the Pennsylvania legislature for the rights to improve and operate navigations upon the rapids-strewn Lehigh River initiating the process that lead to the Lehigh Canal—beginning regular high volume & reliable coal deliveries in late 1820 — and the great changes a flood of anthracite would create in the next century.

Panther Creek Valley

Creek ValleyPanther CreekPanther Valley
The lower canal connected the eastern part of the southern Coal Region to the Delaware River basin (primarily the Panther Creek Valley, Nesquehoning Creek Valley and mines in Beaver Meadows and along Black Creek), connecting via Penn Haven Junction to the canal head at Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania).
Panther Creek Valley lies between and over the Anthracite ladened folds of the two long near parallel ridgelines, Nesquehoning and Pisgah Ridges forming the side walls and supplying the wealth which shipped from the Panther Creek Valley making the region historically important, as for several decades its land owners, Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company (LC&N) held a virtual monopoly on Anthracite produced and shipped not only to eastern U.S. Cities via the Lehigh Canal, but to transoceanic markets.

Main Line of Public Works

Pennsylvania Main Line CanalMain Line CanalPennsylvania Canal
In 1827, a revision to the Main Line of Public Works funded the promised Delaware Canal.
Industrialists in Philadelphia pressed for some solution to their foundries fuel needs and by years end in 1812, legislation was on the books for improving the Schuylkill River into the Schuylkill Canal which ended up sadly underfunded, so got opened 'years late to the party' when, first in 1820 two of its disgruntled directors put the Lehigh Canal into operation in just under two years in late 1820, and the much heralded and ''derided 'Clinton's Folly', the Erie Canal, opened the first sections in 1821.

Lock (water navigation)

locklockscanal lock
Its 52 locks, eight guard locks, eight dams and six aqueducts allowed the waterway to rise over 350 ft in elevation.

Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad

Lehigh & Susquehanna RailroadLehigh and Susquehanna
It was founded in 1837 to carry coal from the North Branch Division of the Pennsylvania Canal to the Lehigh Canal, but would later be extended to the Delaware River at Easton, Pennsylvania.

Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania

Beaver MeadowsJeddo works (& lands)
The lower canal connected the eastern part of the southern Coal Region to the Delaware River basin (primarily the Panther Creek Valley, Nesquehoning Creek Valley and mines in Beaver Meadows and along Black Creek), connecting via Penn Haven Junction to the canal head at Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania).
By the end of 1820 the new Lehigh Canal, as yet rough and unfinished, nonetheless enabled a record 365 long-tons to be shipped to Philadelphia.

Canvass White

By mid-1822, managing director Josiah White was consulting with veteran Erie-Canal lock engineer Canvass White.
He was appointed Chief Engineer of the Delaware and Raritan Canal in 1825 and of the Lehigh Canal in 1827.

Lehigh Gorge Trail

Lehigh Gorge
Much of the trail runs through the Lehigh Gorge State Park, and was originally developed into a railroad corridor after an extension of the Lehigh Canal was first built under the great push of Main Line of Public Works to connect the Delaware Valley to Pittsburgh.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

BethlehemBethlehem, PABethelehem
The canal carried central Lehigh Valley anthracite to northeastern urban markets, particularly Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington, and supporting new industry in Bristol, Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with the Morris and Delaware and Raritan Canals and a number of railroads.
The Lehigh Canal provides hiking and biking opportunities along the canal towpath which follows the Lehigh River in Bethlehem.

Ashley Planes

It was purpose-built to join the freight capacity of two canals (The Pennsylvania Canal System, locally the West Susquehanna Division at Pittston and the Lehigh Canal) and via the Susquehanna, connect to other transportation infrastructure between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh—in intent the Planes role in the legislation was specifically to connect the seaports of the Delaware River with the new interior settlements of the near-midwest along the tributary rivers of the vast Mississippi River drainage basin.

Penobscot Knob

Penobscot MountainMount Penobscot
The pass formed between Penobscot and Haystack Mountain a few thousand feet to the West was one of the few places a railroad could be envisioned in the 1830s when the fuel crises in eastern cities demanded easier transportation to the Northern Anthracite Coal Fields, which ironically, came to be exploited by the company with a near monopoly in providing coal from the Southern Anthracite region, Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company (LC&N, f.1821), which had built both the Lehigh Canal, but also the nation's second railway, the Summit Hill & Mauch Chunk Railroad.

Canal Age

canals
Perhaps in part inspired by the news of the Erie's technological achievements, the privately funded Lehigh Canal was an achievement brought about by the energy needs of two visionary industrialists, the politically connected Erskine Hazard and his older partner Josiah White, who together built the Lehigh Canal and the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, founding towns, mines, and building economically productive mining and transportation infrastructure from a wilderness in Eastern Pennsylvania south and west of the Poconos in the Anthracite creating folded ridges of the Ridge and Valley Appalachians.