Thursday, February 14, 2013



The bridge across thr Delaware river at Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania to Yulan, New York is known today as the Roebling Bridge, named after its builder-designer, John August Roebling,  built in 1848 as an aqueduct , 535 feet in length, 20 feet wide with 8 feet of water depth, to carry coal barges pulled by mules,  from Pennsylvania's anthracite mines across the Delaware on the Delaware and Hudson Canal  to the Hudson River bound for NewYork City. There was a wooden plank walkway for the mules on the edge of the waterway. Today it carries vehicles with a one-way, yield to oncoming traffic, road with scenic views. The Lackawaxen Bridge was open to wagon and auto traffic in 1900.  It was the largest one of four built by Roebling for the canal. Roebling also was the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City but died before it was completed  by his son, Washington Roebling.
Due to the rapid construction of a railroad system to transport coal to New York City  the Delaware and Hudson Canal ceased operation. Lackawaxen Bridge was for sale.  Railroads were offered the structure, however, the Cornell Steamboat Line  purchased it, hoping to sell for a railroad which never happened. 
In 1908, a Scranton lumber dealer, Charles Spunks,, purchased the bridge and the roads leading to it in order to transport lumber from New York State to his Scranton business. So it soon became a toll bridge for wheeled vehicles and pedestrians which continued to about 1933 when most of the bridge woodwork was destroyed by a fire, perhaps started by locals in order to have a toll free bridge built.  Until May 1980 the Lackawaxen Bridge had several new owners and many problems, finally it became more of a tourist attraction, was then purchased by National Park Service for $75,000.00 , repairs for traffic and opened again in 1987.
Other tourist attractions near are the home of the Western Cowboy writer, Zane Grey and the site of the 1779 Battle of Minisink Ford, the only major battle of the Revolutionary War fought on the Delaware River. 

1 comment:

  1. Sources: Frank Dale History of Crossings.
    Miniesink Valley Historic Society.