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Chester County Press

The Schuylkill Navigation (Canal): A Picture Postcard Journey Downriver

Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area - Quarterly Meeting

The Schuylkill River is well known in southeastern Pennsylvania. Perhaps less widely known is the massive amount of construction which was done in the 19th century to make it commercially navigable. Join the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area for our Quarterly Meeting on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 7:30pm at the Phoenixville Bank and Trust Company, 564 Nutt Street in Phoenixville, as Aaron Heckler, historian and author, presents, "The Schuylkill Navigation (Canal): A Picture Postcard Journey Downriver." This is a fully illustrated presentation about the Schuylkill Navigation, often also called the Schuylkill Canal. Utilizing photographic picture postcards, mostly dating from 1905-1920, attendees will see and learn about the numerous locks, canal sections, dams and other features constructed along the Schuylkill River for the primary purpose of shipping coal from Schuylkill County to Philadelphia. Beginning in the vicinity of Port Clinton, you will visually journey downriver through Berks County, then between and through portions of Chester and Montgomery County, before ending in Fairmount Park. When commercial usage waned in later years, the usually calm waters provided popular spots for boating and relaxation. However, sometimes the power of the river caused unexpected results, and some of these events will be included in the presentation as well. Much of the land development created for the navigation system has since been removed or greatly altered, but mention will be made of some of the sites which still exist today. ABOUT THE PRESENTER: As a collector and dealer of books, postcards, and related paper items, Mr. Heckler has handled a large assortment of interesting local historical items over the years. He is the author of Glimpses of the Past: Picture Postcards of the Goshenhoppen Region and Beyond as well as daily posts on his facebook page, Southeastern Pennsylvania Postcard History. Light refreshments will be served following the presentation. The meeting is free and is open to Society members and the general public.

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