Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Canal Town

TEN MINUTES from the Hopatcong house is Waterloo Village, a restored 19th century settlement on the banks of the old Morris Canal, the waterway used to transport anthracite coal from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to New York City during the American Industrial Revolution. For canal workers then, the village was an overnight rest stop on the two-day journey to the coast, and it had "all the accommodations necessary to service the needs of a canal operation, including an inn, a general store, a blacksmith shop to service the mules on the canal, and a watermill" (Wiki). But there were other travelers. The alewife herring, anadromous fish like salmon, also used the waterway as a conduit to travel up the Delaware River from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Hopatcong, the reservoir in the highlands that fed the canal. There they became landlocked with the building of the dam in the 1800s, but thrived so well in their new habitat that they are now the abundant basis of the lake's fish food chain.

The grist mill, Waterloo Village

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