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Delaware Canal - Bucks County, PA

The 58.9 mile long Delaware Canal was completed in 1832 and runs from Bristol to Easton. There were around 23 locks along the canal. The canal was inspired by the Erie Canal which provided transportation routes to carry materials and products. The Delaware Canal mostly transported anthracite coal from the northeastern Pennsylvania coal regions. The boats were mule-drawn and would travel 30 miles or more a day. They moved over a million tons of coal a year.

A typical day would start at 4am for the people who worked on the canals and end around 10pm. Life was hard for the men, women and children who worked on the canals. The workers would groom and harness the mule-team. At 10pm or later the lock tenders stopped operating the locks and the boats could go no further. Mule-drawn boats traveled up and down the canal, moving coal, lumber, building stone, lime, and produce.

After railroads took over moving the coal the canal traffic declined. The last paying boat locked through on October 17, 1931. 40 miles of the Delaware Canal were then deeded to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was named Roosevelt State Park by Governor Gifford Pinchot.

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