Dinner and program to recall heyday of the D&H Canal

Milford, Pa. The Pike County Historical Society offers a program of canal songs and “mules races” at Lock House 16 along the Lackawaxen River.

27 Jul 2020 | 04:31

The Columns Museum will host a dinner and program that will focus on the life and times of the people who operated canal boats and the effect of the canal in the small communities along the Lackawaxen River and D&H Canal during the heydays of the canal’s use.

The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 8, at Lock House 16, on Towpath Road in Glen Eyre. The property affords a beautiful view of the Lackawaxen River and makes for a serene and historical setting. The program includes canal songs by Dan Engvaldsen, dinner, “mule races,” and general good cheer.

The cost of $40 per person and includes dinner, dessert, libation, and entertainment. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 570-296-8126 or emailing pikemuse@ptd.net. Due to social distancing, there will be only 25 tickets available.

The canaller’s life

Down from Honesdale and into Pike County, sleepy towns such as Kimbles, Baoba, Baisdenville, Glen Eyre, and Rowlands all played a part in the history of a unique canal system that meandered through these parts, making life on the canal, and on its banks, worth recalling.

While the canal itself was certainly an engineering marvel in many ways, the life of a canaller was just as unique. In some cases, life on board was a family affair with mother and children along for the ride. A small cabin below deck housed the boat’s operators and had a bunk, stove and table and chairs to add a home like feel to the journey. The primary cargo was coal; but often other items were transported – especially in the Pike County areas – as it was an easier means of moving large items than along the primitive roads. Passengers, and animals could be found upon the boats as well.

Life wasn’t always easy. An ongoing rivalry with the raftsmen could make for some dicey exchanges along the way.