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The Delaware & Hudson Transportation Heritage Council

The Delaware & Hudson Transportation Heritage Council is a partnership of public, private and not-for-profit organizations committed to the appreciation and preservation of the historic resources of the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad.


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Join D&HTHC for 2017!

The D&H Transportation Heritage Council is listed on the National Geographic Scenic, Wild Delaware River MapGuide.

D&H Transportation Heritage Council

2017 Quarterly Meeting Dates for D&H THC

Wednesday, January 25 –
at the Town of Deerpark 1863 Schoolhouse Museum in Huguenot, NY

Wednesday, April 26 – location to be determined

Wednesday, July 26 – location to be determined

Wednesday, October 25 – location to be determined

Yes, please do update the 2017 meetings. You may state that they take place quarterly on the 4th Wednesdays: January 25 at the Town of Deerpark 1863 Schoolhouse Museum in Huguenot, NY; April 26; July 26; and October 25. We don't determine the locations until the previous meeting.

Please email  to request meeting details.
Minutes of past meetings are available online.

All are welcome.


D&H Canal and Gravity Railroad
Enthusiasts Invited to Show Support

The D&H Transportation Heritage Council is now

accepting memberships from individuals who support the mission of preserving the

history and promoting appreciation of a great engineering feat of pre-industrial America....

Laurie Ramie, Secretary

Click for Press Release

The Delaware and Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad, a 124-mile long long transportation system between the Lackawanna Valley in Pennsylvania and the Hudson River, was one of America's first million-dollar private enterprise. The construction of this transportation system was a significant engineering feat of pre-industrial America.

Through the D&H Canal--a 108-mile long, man-made waterway, consisting of 108 locks--millions of tons of anthracite coal were shipped from Honesdale, PA, to Eddyville on the Rondout Creek near the villages of Kingston and Rondout. From there, the coal was shipped down the Hudson River to New York and up the river to the Erie Canal and also to Canada.

The D&H Gravity Railroad--a 16-mile long railroad, consisting of inclined planes and levels, connected the coal fields in the Lackawanna Valley with the D&H Canal at Honesdale. At the head of each of the inclined planes on this rail line was a stationary steam engine that pulled the rail cars up and over the Moosic Mountain, the summit of which is almost 1,000 feet above the valley floor where the rail line began.

 

Carbondale Waymart Honesdale White Mills Hawley Barryville Pond Eddy Sparrowbush Port Jervis Hugeunot Cuddebackville Wurtsboro Summitville Philipsport  Ellenville Port Benjamin Alligerville High Falls Rosendale and Eddyville

These are just some of the towns whose prosperity was directly affected by the D&H Canal. In fact, many of them would not exist today if it were not for the canal. The Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the sidewalks of many of the major cities of the east, the uniforms of the Union soldiers and the explosive growth of NYC in the 1800s, to name just a few things, were all made possible by the D&H Canal.

The canal is an integral part of the history of this country and particularly this region. Unfortunately, its importance is greatly under appreciated, as is evidenced by the continuing destruction of what is left of it. When we hear statements like, “I don’t know why someone hasn’t filled that ditch in before now”, or, “Why are you trying to preserve what’s left? It’s been closed longer than it was open”, it becomes apparent that appreciation for how we got here is sorely lacking.

I firmly believe that if we can get people walking along the route, standing inside a 100’ long dried laid stone lock, marveling at the sheer size of it, appreciating the effort it took to build a 30’ wall straight up from a river’s ledge, designing an ingenious rail system that used gravity as the primary energy, and all of it without backhoes and GPS systems and laser transits and water pumps, then interest in the history of the canal, gravity railroad and the area will increase.

Washington Irving once said that if this canal was in Europe it would be world famous. It isn’t. It follows the valleys created by the Lackawaxen, Upper Delaware, Neversink and Rondout rivers, not exactly populous areas. But that should not diminish its importance. Hopefully one day soon we will have hundreds, if not thousands, walking this route once again. Perhaps they can bring back, not just nostalgia, but some of the prosperity that left with the closing of the canal.

With the efforts of groups like the Upper Delaware Council and others, including the D&H Transportation Heritage Council, it could become a reality sooner than later.

(Excerpt of a speech given by Cliff Robinson Jr., President of The Delaware and Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad Conservancy to the Upper Delaware Council in 2010.)

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