Editor's note: The following text is from the "Register of Pennsylvania", August 14, 1830. Thank you to Contributing Scholar George A. Thompson for finding, cataloging and transcribing this article. The language, spelling and grammar of the article reflects the time period when it was written.
A Trip On The Delaware & Hudson Canal To Carbondale.
New York, August 2d, 1830.
Mr. Croswell -- I perceive by the paper, that a packet boat commences this day, to run regularly for the remainder of the season, on the Delaware and Hudson canal. Among the pleasant and healthy tours that are now sought after, I would strongly recommend a trip on that canal. It leads from Bolton, on the waters of the Hudson and Kingston Landing; to Carbondale on the Lackawanna, which falls into the Susquehanna. I had the satisfaction not long since to visit that country, and I was delighted with the beauty and grandeur of the scenery, and the noble exhibition of skill, enterprize and rising prosperity, which were displayed throughout the course of that excursion.
This great canal, though seated in the heart of the state, seems to be almost unknown to the mass of our tourists. Its character, execution and utility, richly merit a better acquaintance. It commences at Eddyville, two miles above Kingston, and we ascend a south-west course along the romantic valley of the Rondout, and through a rich agricultural country in Ulster county, which has been settled and cultivated for above a century. the Shawangunk range of mountains hangs on our left; and as we attain a summit level at Phillips or Lock Port, 35 miles from the commencement of the canal, after having passed through 54 lift-locks, extremely well made of hammered stone laid in hydraulic cement. The elevation here is 535 feet above tide water at Bolton, and the canal on this summit level of 16 miles, is fed principally by the abundant waters of the Neversink, over which river the canal passes in a stone aqueduct of 324 feet in length; and descends through 6 locks to Port Jervis, at the junction of the Neversink and Delaware rivers, and 59 miles from the landing. The canal here changes its course to the north-west, and ascends the left bank of the majestic Delaware, through a mountainous and wild region, to the mouth of the Laxawaxen [sic], at the distance of 22 miles from Port Jervis. In this short course the canal is mostly fed by the large stream of the Mongauss, which it crosses, and in several places and for considerable distances, it is raised from the edge of the bed of the Delaware, upon walls of neat and excellent masonry, and winds along in the most bold and picturesque style, under the lofty and perpendicular sides of the mountains. the Neversink, the Mongauss, the Lackawaxen [sic] and the Delaware were all swollen by the heavy rains when I visited the canal, and they served not only to test the solidity of the work, and the judgment with which it was planted, but to add greatly to the magnificence of the scenery.
At the mouth of the Lackawaxen we crossed the Delaware upon the waters of a dam thrown across it, and entered the state of Pennsylvania, and ascended the Lackawaxen, through a mountainous region the farther distance of 25 miles to Honesdale, where the canal terminates. This new, rising and beautiful village, is situated at the junction of the Lackawaxen and Dyberry streams, and is so named out of respect to Philip Hone, Esq. of New York, who has richly merited the honor by his early, constant and most efficient patronage of the great enterprize of the canal.
The village is upwards of 1000 feet above tide water at Bolton, and at the distance of 103 miles according to the course of the canal. There are 103 lift and two guard locks in that distance, and the supervision of the locks and canal, by means of agents or overseers in the service of the company, and who have short sections of the canal allotted to each, appeared to me to be vigilant, judicious and economical. The canal and locks, by means of incessant attention, are sure to be kept in a sound state and in the utmost order. The plan and execution of the canal are equally calculated to strike the observer with surprise and admiration. He cannot but be deeply impressed, when he considers the enterprising and gigantic nature of the undertaking, the difficulties which the company had to encounter, and the complete success with which those difficulties have been surmounted. This is the effort of a private company; and when we reflect on the nature of the ground, and the character and style of the work, we can hardly fail to pronounce it a more enterprising achievement than that of the Erie Canal. I hope and trust it may be equally successful. We found the most busy activity on the canal, and it was enlivened throughout its course by canal boats, (of which there were upwards of 150) employed in transporting coal down to the Hudson.
At Honesdale a new and curious scene opens. Here the rail-way commences, and it ascends to a summit level of perhaps 850 feet on its way to Carbondale, a distance of 16 miles and upwards. It terminates in the coal beds on the waters of the Lackawanna, at the thriving village of Carbondale. The rail-way, is built of timber, with iron slates fastened to the timber rails with screws, and in ascending the elevations and levels, the coat cars are drawn up and let down by means of stationary steam-engines, and three self-acting or gravitating engines moving without steam. Nothing will more astonish and delight a person not familiar with such things, than a ride on this rail-way in one of the cars. A single horse will draw 16 loaded cars in most places, and in one part of the distance for five miles the descent is sufficient to move the loaded cars by their own weight. A line of ten or a dozen loaded cars, moving with any degree of velocity that may be required, and with their speed perfectly under the command of the guide or pilot, is a very interesting spectacle.
I don't pretend to skill or science on the subject to canals, rail-ways and anthracite coal. I speak only of what I saw and of the impressions which were made upon my mind. It appears to me that all persons of taste and patrons of merits, whose feelings are capable of elevation in the presence of grand natural scenery, and whose patriotism can be kindled by the accumulated displays of their country's prosperity, would be glad of an opportunity to see these beauties of nature and triumphs of art to which I have alluded.
"A Trip On The Delaware & Hudson Canal To Carbondale." Register of Pennsylvania. August 14, 1830. 111—112.
1830-08-02 -- A Trip on the Delaware & Hudson Canal to Carbondale
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