John A. Roebling was born in Prussia on June 12th, 1806. Educated as an engineer, but finding the political unrest in his home country stifling, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1831 with a small group intent on establishing a community where technology could freely advance. They settled in Western Pennsylvania, establishing the community of Saxonburg. [Read more…] about The Upper Delaware’s First Suspension Bridge
Perhaps the largest apple producer in Sullivan County at the height of the industry here was Martin A. Smith of Fremont Center. [Read more…] about Apple Orchards Are Returning Again to Sullivan County
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has encouraged anglers in the Delaware River to be on the lookout for northern snakehead, an invasive fish native to Southeast Asia.
A northern snakehead was recently caught in the Callicoon area of the Delaware River. Given the right environmental conditions, this invasive species can prey on and compete with other fish, upsetting the natural balance of local ecosystems. [Read more…] about Northern Snakehead Sightings In The Delaware River
The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, the great rival to the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, was built a few years before the completion of the D&H and carried a significant amount of anthracite coal to the tide-waters of the Hudson and Delaware Rivers.
While the activities of that particular pro-Nazi organization in the region may be debatable, there is no question that a small group of men charged with plotting to overthrow the U.S. government and replacing it with a Nazi style dictatorship spent much of the summer of 1939 in Sullivan County. [Read more…] about 1939: Nazi Saboteurs In Sullivan County
The Half Moon is a full scale replica of the original Dutch ship of exploration sailed by Henry Hudson for the Dutch East India Company in 1609. The original Half Moon was the first European ship to document entry into what we now call the Delaware Bay and River, and to explore the Hudson River to its navigable limits.
The Hermione is a full scale replica of the French ship that brought LaFayette to America in 1780 and which joined Admiral de Grasse’s fleet for the Battle off the Capes on the lower Chesapeake and the siege at Yorktown. The ship then sailed to Philadelphia in 1781 where the Continental Congress visited and paid tribute to it. [Read more…] about The Half Moon and The Hermione: A Tale of Two Ships
John Augustus Roebling celebrated two milestones in June of 1849, his 43rd birthday and the beginning of construction of the Neversink Aqueduct on the Delaware & Hudson Canal. It was the third of the four aqueducts he would design and build for the canal company, and followed the completion of the Delaware and Lackawaxen Aqueducts the previous year.
Roebling (his given name was actually Johann August) was born in Muhlhausen, in Prussia, on June 12, 1806, the youngest son of Christoph Polycarpa Roebling and Fredericke Dorothea Mueller Roebling. He grew up in a world of private tutors, learned the music of Bach and the poetry of Goethe, and according to some sources, built a model of a suspension bridge when he was nine years old that bore a striking resemblance to what would be his most famous work, the Brooklyn Bridge. He gained admission to the prestigious engineering program at the Royal Polytechnic Institute in Berlin, where he studied languages and philosophy as well as architecture, bridge construction and hydraulics. He graduated in 1826, and went to work for the state, as was the requirement at that time, serving three years building roads in Westphalia. [Read more…] about Roebling’s Wire Rope Modernized The D & H Canal
Fifteen museums, landmark structures and historic sites will be open for tours, exhibits and special programs June 7 and 8 when Headwaters History Days celebrates the heritage, culture, folklife and landscape of the East Branch Delaware River towns of Middletown, Roxbury and Andes.
These eastern Delaware County sites will be open to the public at no charge for one or both days. Visit www.headwatershistorydays.org for the schedule of activities. You can also pick up a brochure and map at the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street, Margaretville, or at any of the venues before plotting your own tour route. This collaborative event is part of the statewide Path Through History Weekend. [Read more…] about Delaware River Headwaters History Days, June 7-8
There was a time when Lenape fishermen – or women, since they did much of the fishing in that culture— would use nets woven from branches, saplings or wild hemp to catch huge numbers of shad in the Delaware River. Much of their catch would be preserved by a unique smoking process that would keep them edible through the winter. The Lenape designated March as the month of the shad and celebrated with a festival that often lasted six weeks or more.
The early European settlers learned the importance of shad from the Natives and quickly picked up the technique of smoking them to provide food for the harsh winters when game was scarce. Some historians, including William E. Meehan writing in Fish, Fishing and Fisheries of Pennsylvania in 1893, have noted that virtually every Colonial era homestead in a broad area bordering the Delaware River “had its half-barrel of salted shad sitting in the kitchen with some choice pieces of smoked shad hanging by the kitchen chimney.” [Read more…] about Shad: The Founding Fish Returns
Like many historical events, the American Revolution is often shrouded in romantic myth and stubborn stereotypes. Perhaps no event offers a better example than General George Washington’s famous crossing of icy Delaware River on Christmas night to lead the Continental Army’s defeat of the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey, an event which revived the flickering morale American revolutionaries.
In George Washington’s Surprise Attack: A New Look at the Battle That Decided the Fate of America (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014), Phillip Thomas Tucker attempts to parse fiction from fact. He provides an in-depth look (more than 600 pages, with notes) at the events of the Battle of Trenton, presenting new insights and analysis about a battle that holds a mythical place in American national history. [Read more…] about Battle of Trenton: George Washington’s Surprise Attack