Delaware House

Minisink Ford and Lackwaxen
Most boarding houses in Highland were located near Eldred, Yulan, Barryville, or Hagan Pond (called Venoge in 1897).

At some point at least two hotels/houses were located in the other hamlet, Minisink Ford, about four miles west of Barryville, near the Roebling Aqueduct.

View of the Roebling Bridge from the Delaware House in Pennsylvania. Photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division: HAER, PA, 52-LACK,1-23.

The Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers joined north of the Aqueduct on the Pennsylvania side. The large Delaware House (see previous post photo) was built north of the Lackawaxen River by William Holbert in 1852. The Delaware House was advertised in the Erie Railway Booklets from 1882 on, and at least by 1884 in the newspaper.

Delaware House, 1882
Mrs. M.A. Holbert Proprietor; F.J. Holbert, Manager. 1/3 of a mile on banks of Delaware at junction of Lackawaxen. Conveyance free. Accommodates 100; 15 single rooms; 50 double rooms; $10 to $12; $2 per day. Discount for season. Two cottages attached. Boating for a mile on river. Black bass fishing in front of house. Boats free. Livery furnished; $5 per day. Best of references. Fresh vegetables, butter, eggs, milk, etc. from farm. Guides obtained.
—Erie Railway Brochure, 1882.

Delaware House, 1884
A popular Summer resort on the Erie Road and banks of the Delaware and Lackawaxen Rivers; everything first class; boating, bathing and fishing; boats free; reduced rates for June and September; circular. F.J. Holbert, Agent.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 11, 1884.

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1880 Slack Water Dam

Slackwater Dam
A six-foot high slackwater dam existed below the confluence or juncture of the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers before the Roebling Aqueduct was built in 1847. The dam, which caused a calm section over a mile long, was raised to 16 feet after the Aqueduct was completed. The extra height was helpful for the canal, but treacherous for the lumber rafters.

When a raft went over the dam, the bow oarsmen disappeared from the stern oarsmen under a swirl of white water. Many rafts of lumber were lost on this section of the river, and the Delaware and Hudson paid the damages.

In an attempt to aid raftsmen, the D&H provided guides to lead rafts through this dangerous section, but this was not done without a payment to the canal company.
—Osterberg, Matthew, “The Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Gravity
Railroad,” p.53.

Once over the Aqueduct, canal boats made a sharp right at Minisink Ford, New York, and went through Locks 72, 71, and 70 (some of the lock numbers have been changed). There were 16 locks before they reached Port Jervis.—Echo Hill and Mountain Grove, p.8.

The slack water dam to the right of the Roebling Aqueduct. Photo taken around 1880 from the New York side of the Delaware, courtesy of Minisink Valley Historical Society.
Closer view of the slack water dam from the Pennsylvania side, just upstream of the Roebling Aqueduct. Photo taken around 1880 courtesy of Minisink Valley Historical Society.
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Canal Boat on the Delaware River

A Canal boat on the Delaware River. Photo courtesy of Minisink Valley Historical Society.

In Reminiscences, Johnston commented that the boatmen were often forced to run the boat as a family business due to the D&H Canal Company policies. Out of necessity to make a living, the boatman’s wife and children would work over 12 hours a day alongside him on his canal boat.
Echo Hill and Mountain Grove, p. 6.

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Pond Eddy Bridge

The 1871 Pond Eddy Suspension Bridge across the Delaware River. Photo courtesy of Minisink Valley Historical Society.

East of Parkers Glen, the next hamlets on the way to Port Jervis were Pond Eddy (later Flagstaff), Pennsylvania, and Pond Eddy, New York. Pond Eddy’s suspension bridge, built in 1871 was near Lock 63. On the Pennsylvania side was an Erie Railway station.—Echo Hill and Mountain Grove, p. 12.

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The Wolffs’ New Home

Norman and Albert Wolff’s new home in Barryville. Ira Austin’s house not showing, was to the left. Photo courtesy of Ed W.

Albert and his brother Norman would soon buy the house near the old Ira Austin house where Ed and Mabel Austin Smith and their son Austin Smith lived. The Wolffs’ “new” home had been sold to Charles Frace in 1868.

Close to and adjoining the premises of Mrs. Frace is the house and premises of Ira M. Austin a wagon maker, blacksmith and general mechanic. The house was first erected by Abraham Russel…—Johnston, J.W., Reminiscences, p. 328.—March 1932.

Another view of Norman and Albert Wolff’s new home in Barryville. Photo courtesy of Ed W.

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