Celebrate 19th century canal heritage

PALMYRA TWP. (Wayne) - The 7th Annual Canal Festival will be held Saturday, August 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Delaware and Hudson Canal Park at Lock 31, Route 6, one mile west of The Settlers Inn, Hawley.
This is a free event, and will be held rain or shine, hosted by the Wayne County Historical Society (WCHS). 
The festival will feature live traditional music including Steve Jacobi’s Fiddlin’ Around; blacksmithing; textile arts including spinning, weaving, quilting; early American decorative painting; wood working including post and beam construction; early trapping and outdoor skills; guided history and nature walks; children’s activities including an archeology “dig”; the Stourbridge Lion “cub”; site-related local nonprofit and government informational booths. The Living History Stage will again host the popular Frank Little Bear and folk musician Dave Matsinko.
Food, featuring grilled meats, sides, home baked good and local maple syrup will be available for purchase. Local history related items, including books and maps can be purchased inside the Canal Store and the three-part D & H Canal Co. documentary can be viewed and purchased there. Four local history authors will also be signing and selling their books.

New this year

New to the festival this year is Rob Gibson, tintype artist/performer who finds a unique
way to bring history alive.  John Harvey, nature writer and psychologist, will present a slide show about his latest book, "The Stillness of the Living Forest: A Year of Listening and Learning.” Harvey will be signing copies he sells. He will also have a guided walk.
Also new to the festival is Lisa Ohliger, who will present the history of tin punch with examples,and offer an opportunity to make a tin punched gift for a small fee. Bee keeper Dolores Motchika will have an informational booth and honey for sale.
“Bring a blanket or lawn chair and spend the day or part of it enjoying this 16-acre park and historic site along the beautiful Lackawaxen River,” said Sally Talaga, WCHS volunteer.
The festival’s schedule of events and park map can be found at www.WayneHistoryPA.org or hard copies can be picked up at the main museum, 810 Main Street, Honesdale.

Historical background

Lock 31 was one of 108 locks on the D&H Canal, which operated between Honesdale, PA and Rondout (near Kingston), NY on the Hudson River between 1828 and 1898. Millions of tons of anthracite coal were shipped from the mines by gravity railroad to the canal boats at Honesdale, as well as on a second gravity rail system to Hawley. Other cargo was carried as well, supporting this major industry that helped fuel a growing nation and gave impetus to many of our communities’ very existence along the route and heritage we inherit today.
In addition, the Stourbridge Lion, the first steam locomotive to operate for commercial purposes in the Western Hemisphere, was brought to Honesdale from England by the D&H Canal Company for its trial run on August 8, 1829.
D&H Canal Park at Lock 31 preserves one of the few remaining sites along the 108 mile canal. The WCHS began efforts in 1997 to acquire the site and develop a plan. Completion of the project is ongoing, funded through grants and donations, and aided largely by dedicated volunteers.

Many thanks

WCHS would like to thank the following sponsors for making this year’s festival possible: David Katz Foundation; Grimm Construction; AM Skier Insurance; Pioneer Construction; Koberlein Environmental Services; The Dime Bank; Dunmore Roofing; Weinstein, Zimmerman & Ohliger; Honesdale National Bank; Highhouse Energy; Dirlam Brothers Lumber; Watson Bros. Inc.; Billie Ann Garbe; Lewis and Mary Dunn; Tom Colbert; Leroy and Pat Spoor; John and Peggy Block. This event is also made possible by a grant from the Wayne County Hotel Tax
Fund; in-kind donations from Spencer Printing, Dunn's Sawmill, Hunt Signs; equipment loans from the National Park Service and Wayne County Public Library; and many volunteers.

Learn more

More information about the Wayne County Historical Society and its D & H Canal Park at Lock 31 can be found at www.WayneHistoryPA.org, by calling 570- 253-3240, and by visiting its main museum,
Wednesday though Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

CAPTION
Delaware and Hudson Canal Park at Lock 31, Route 6 is located one mile west of The Settlers Inn, Hawley. The grounds are open daily for walking and learning of the canal heritage through interpretative panels. The grounds include  the circa 1820’s house that served as a canal store and inn, a mile of canal towpath and canal basin; remnants of the lock and stone walls, and a loop walk down to the river’s edge.
Contributed