Saturday, January 24, 2009
In 1720 Daniel Howell built what became the Prallsville Mills in Stockton at the confluence of the Delaware River and Wickecheoke Creek. It was one of the many water powered mills that introduced the early industrial revolution to western New Jersey. Rebuilt in the 1870s after a fire, it remained in operation until the 1950s. The superhighway of the early 19th century, the Delaware and Raritan Canal, was completed in the 1830s. It passed between the mills and the Delaware, providing transportation using barges and mule teams to move goods across the state to New York City. This was one of America's busiest navigation canals from its opening until the building of the railroad alongside it made it obsolete.
The tow path along which the mule teams, and later the railroad, traveled is visible in the lower right of the photo above.
Knowing this is a part of understanding the landscape of this area. And how ironic it is to consider that this emblem of the early industrial revolution has come to be seen as a pastoral landscape.