In 1824 the Morris Canal & Banking Company was chartered to build a canal that would carry coal to developing markets along the eastern seaboard. The canal would pass through the heart of New Jersey’s iron district and provide the long-needed transportation system that would create new commercial activity. The completed canal extended 102 miles and opened for business in 1831. By the early 1900s, the canal became obsolete.
It took until 1924 to adopt a plan to close and dismantle the canal. The ownership of the canal’s vast water resources, including Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong, and Greenwood Lake, passed to the state of New Jersey. Today, the Morris Canal Greenway, a partnership between local communities and the Canal Society of New Jersey, seeks to preserve the surviving historic remains of the canal, interpret canal sites, and offer recreational opportunities to the public.
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site has announced a virtual program on the Morris Canal, with Tim Roth of the Canal Society of New Jersey, set for Thursday, June 10th at 6:30 pm.
For more information, call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516, email SchoharieCrossing@parks.ny.gov, or visit the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site website.
Map of the Morris Canal in 1827 courtesy New York Public Library.