Posted Thursday, September 10th, 2015
The Canal Society of New Jersey, in concert with the New Jersey DEP, will hold the next in its Waterloo Canal Heritage Days series this Saturday, Sept. 12, with a full day of geocaching activities mixed in with a look at 19th Century history, giving Morris County visitors to nearby Waterloo Village in Sussex County a touch of the region’s early days – as part of an every other Saturdays series.
The programs, which are altered a bit on each of the Heritage Days Saturdays, include hands-on history programs, a taste of original music, plus a narrated boat ride on the historic Morris Canal.
On this Saturday, Sept. 12, eight of the village’s historic buildings will be open, and historic trades will be demonstrated at the gristmill, and carpentry, seamstress and blacksmith shops.
Added to the regular fare will be geocaching, which is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
The following is a look at this Saturday’s planned events:
GEOCACHING: Second annual Metro Area gathering mega event, sponsored by the Northern New Jersey Cachers, will draw geocachers from throughout New Jersey and the Northeast for a full day of activities.
Earle Post, a woodworker, has set up a carpentry shop in the Peter D. Smith Carriage House, where he will be working on projects of all kinds.
Richard & Richard Brusco, metallurgist and blacksmiths from Brookside (Mendham), will be working in the blacksmith’s shop. They will alternate between hammering red-hot metal and interpreting the process.
Sharon Kuechelmann, a seamstress, will demonstrate her skills in a 19th century seamstress shop using a vintage treadle sewing machine to create authentic period garments.
Ed Saultz and Linda Hickman will be featured at Waterloo for the first time, playing their brand of traditional Irish music.
A visit to Waterloo includes: Smith’s Store (fully stocked general store), the fully operational Smith Brothers water-powered gristmill, the Rutan Cabin, the Canal Society of New Jersey’s Museum, and other exhibits. The Lenape Village is now open. Food service is available on the grounds
CANAL BOAT RIDES
Come and enjoy a narrated canal boat ride on the historic Morris Canal, featuring New Jersey’s only known solar powered canal boat.
The Morris Canal
In 1824 the Morris Canal & Banking Company was chartered to build a canal that would carry coal, mined in Pennsylvania, to developing markets along the eastern seaboard. The canal would pass through the heart of New Jersey’s iron district and provide the long-needed transportation system that would create new commercial activity and enable rustic settlements like Waterloo to grow into thriving canal towns.
When completed in 1831, the canal extended 102 miles across the rugged highlands of New Jersey, from Phillipsburg on the Delaware River, uphill to its summit level at Lake Hopatcong, and then down to New York Harbor at Jersey City.
To accomplish this, a system of 23 locks and 23 inclined planes were built to overcome the impressive elevation change of 1,674 feet. The canal’s famous water-powered inclined planes were an engineering marvel that enabled canal boats to be raised or lowered up to 100 feet at a time
Waterloo Village Heritage Days run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are scheduled for Saturdays Sept. 12, Sept. 26, Oct. 10, and Sunday Oct. 25. For more information, visit:
For GPS: Waterloo Village is located on Waterloo Road, Stanhope, N.J. 07874. Use Exit 25 on Interstate 80.
For more information on the county’s heritage, please visit: https://www.morriscountynj.gov/mchc/
For more information on the Morris Canal, visit: http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/pdf/morrisCanalSale.pdf