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Posts Tagged ‘Shohola Creek’

Lords Valley, Greeley and the Dingmans Falls Bridge, PA

Posted by graywacke on February 27, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2328; A Landing A Day blog post number 759.

untitledDan:  Today’s lat/long 41o 20.697’N, 75o 0.585’W) puts me in northeast Pennsylvania:

landing-1

My local map:

landing-2a

OK, so we can’t see the Dingman’s Ferry bridge.  Later, gator.

My streams-only map:

landing-3

It shows that I landed in the watershed of Birchy Creek; on to Shohola Creek; on to the Delaware River (8th hit).

With no delay, here comes my Google Earth (GE) re-entry trip from the upper atmosphere to NE PA.  Click HERE to take the trip.

As you just saw, I landed in the middle of heavy woodlands.  Guess what?  Even though I have Street View on I-84, there’s nothing to look at, so I won’t bother.

But just a mile SW from my landing, I found this GE Panoramio shot by Oleg March:

pano-oleg-march-1-mi-sw

Maybe this very bear was stopped dead in his tracks by seeing a huge yellow push-pin in the woods . . .

You also may have noticed three landings in Pennsylvania, all bunched in the northeast corner (the one on the southern boundary is actually in Maryland).  Does the landing god have something against the rest of the state?  (Note that the GE map only shows landings since January 2013 – 351 landings ago.)

Searching for Street View coverage of my watershed streams, I found a Street View near Greeley on a bridge over Shohola Creek.  But it’s a deep wooded valley, so the view from the bridge looks like a dent in the woods.  I won’t bother with that, either.

But I will bother with another GE Pano shot, this one of Shohola Creek (by SwampMudd), 1 mile NW of my landing:

pano-swampmudd-shohola-1-mi-nw

I had to go way up to Barryville NY (on the Delaware River) to find a place for the Orange Dude to see anything worthwhile:

ge-sv-shohola-map

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees, with the discharge point of the Shohola Creek into the Delaware River more-or-less identified:

ge-sv-shohola

So, how about Lords Valley?  From Wiki:

Lords Valley’s first resident was Levi Lord in 1810. Levi Lord and eleven friends purchased land in the vicinity of what was to become Lords Valley. Levi Lord built a brick hotel here with his sons, circa 1850.

The building, which was also a post office from 1853 – 1955, is owned by the Glen Eyre Corp. and was listed on the National Historical Registers in 1980.

Here’s a 2001 picture of the Lord house from rootsweb/ancestry.com:

lv_cover

Here’s a GE shot of Lords Valley:

ge-lords-valley

IT LOOKS AWFUL!  I thought this was going to be a historic old town.  Yea, right . . .

And here’s an even closer look:

ge-lords-valley2

IT LOOKS EVEN MORE AWFUL!

I plunked the Orange Dude in downtown Lords Valley to check out the scenery.  The main blight on the landscape is a concrete block / cement facility:

ge-lords-valley3

Don’t get me wrong.  I know that cement and concrete blocks are important to our economy. And I’m sure that the owners of this facility are doing nothing wrong.  It’s just that I expected more from Lords Valley.  The name is so . . . dignified. 

Anyway, I moved the OD a little up the road to get a look at the house:

ge-lv2

And this:

ge-lv3

IT LOOKS AWFUL! 

If the Glen Eyre Corp. still owns the house, they should be ashamed!  You’d think that the National Historic Register folks could pull some strings (or do some kind of enforcement action) to get the house repaired.

Oh my.  I just stumbled on a very relevant 2011 news story from the News Eagle – the local rag . . er . . .news website (article by Peter Becker):

No injuries were reported Monday night, March 7, after two pickups collided on SR 739. One of the trucks, however, did substantial damage to a corner of the historic brick Lord House.

truck-crash

Bricks fell from both of the two stories on the northeast corner, leaving a gaping hole. The house has since been shored up with plywood and protected from the elements.

Although currently unoccupied, the Lord House originally was an inn and hotel, built in 1850 by Simeon Lord. In the early 1900’s, Simeon “Sim” Lord Jr. was managing the hotel, and sold gasoline. Sim Lord was remembered for his enjoyment of whistling.

[I guess there are worse things he could have been known for . . . ]

The Lord House served as the Lord’s Valley Post Office for 101 years, until Hawley Post Office took over the routes in 1955. In later years there were offices in the building.

According to Gail Masker, Blooming Grove Township Historian, the Township Supervisors held their meetings there for an estimated 50 years.  In 1980 it was put on the National Historic Register.

Masker, who has lived in the area all her life, recounted fond memories of the Lord House. She said that when she was a girl growing up in the 40’s, she would make daily walks to the Lord House to buy candy. She said it was a small post office, but they also sold such things as bread, candy and cigarettes.

She said it was a much quieter time then with much less traffic. There was no interstate. Route 739 was a dirt road, she said.

Masker was hopeful that the structure could be repaired.

The building is currently owned by the Glen Eyre Corporation. A representative of the corporation declined a request for comment at this time about prospects for repairs and plans for the property.

It’s time to move a few miles north to Greeley.  The only Greeley I know of is Horace.  He was the newspaper man who said “Go west, young man,” right?  From Wiki:

Greeley is named for Horace Greeley (1811 – 1872) an American newspaper editor and a founder of the Liberal Republican Party. The New York Tribune (which he founded and edited) was the US’s most influential newspaper from the 1840s to the 1870s.

[And yes, he did say “Go west, young man.”]

Horace Greeley supported a rural commune known as the Sylvania Colony, located near present-day Greeley.  The commune, for which Horace Greeley served as Treasurer, structured itself in accordance with the radical ideas of Albert Brisbane, who studied Charles Fourier and Karl Marx.

The association purchased 3200 acres in 1842. They subsequently built a small saw mill, two small two story houses, and a small barn. The old mill wall still stands alongside a stream that flows through the township.  It can still be seen near a historical state marker along what is now the junction of Routes 434 and 590. The association eventually failed because the members, unaccustomed to wilderness, failed to plant and harvest sufficient crops in 1845.

Here’s what a historical marker in Greeley says:

greeley_sign

Hmmm.  Killing frost in July?  What a bummer.

I’ve run into several utopian communities in my landing adventures.  Even though there were the best of intentions, they all failed . . .

To wrap things up, here’s a local landing map, shifted to the southeast:

landing-2b

You can see that I landed near the Dingman Turnpike, which goes to Dingman’s Ferry, along the Delaware River (with NJ across the river).

This, from Wiki, about the Dingman’s Ferry bridge:

The Dingman’s Ferry Bridge is the last privately owned toll bridge on the Delaware River and one of the last few in the United States. It is owned and operated by the “Dingmans Choice and Delaware Bridge Company.”

In 1735, Andrew Dingman, a Dutch pioneer, operated a ferry that connected Sussex County NJ to Pike County PA. The ferry thrived for over a century as pioneers utilized this important river crossing to move westward.

In 1836, the first bridge was built by the Dingmans. The first bridge lasted until 1847 when high water washed away the Milford Bridge upstream and swept the debris into Dingman’s Bridge.

A second bridge was soon built, but after a brief life, it was destroyed four or five years later, in a severe windstorm.

A third bridge was constructed in 1856, but, being of poor quality, it fell apart by 1862.

[Geez.  They should have hired a real engineer . . . ]

The ferry was operated once again by the Dingmans until the property was sold in 1875 to John Kilsby, whose family operated the ferry until the turn of the twentieth century when the current bridge was constructed using some materials recycled from a railroad bridge on the Susquehanna River. This bridge has survived major floods in 1903, 1955, 2005, and 2006.

Records from an early log book show tolls of 40 cents for a horseless carriage, 25 cents for a two-horse wagon, 10 cents for a horse and rider, 5 cents for a bicycle, and 2 cents for a footman. Under the terms of the original charter, no toll was charged for school children or individuals traveling to church or a funeral  This custom is still practiced.

Today, the bridge provides an important link for commuters to reach destinations in New Jersey and New York City. The bridge lies south of the current Milford Bridge, and well north of the Interstate 80 bridge at the Delaware Water Gap. As such, it is in a location which caters well to the commuter lifestyle of many area residents of Delaware Township, Dingman Township, and other surrounding communities.

Today’s tolls are not much higher than previously noted. Automobiles pay $1.00. Bicyclists may cross for free, but pedestrians are not allowed due to the narrow lanes.

Christmas Day is the only day of the year which finds the toll booth unmanned; everyone may cross for free. Dingman’s Bridge is also remarkable in that there is a single toll collector who stands in between the single lanes of traffic, collecting toll fees by hand.

Because the Bridge Company is responsible for its own repairs, it employs an engineering firm certified for bridge inspection to regularly and thoroughly inspect the bridge from the tops of the trusses to the underwater foundations.

Each year, the bridge company closes the bridge the second week after Labor Day to conduct any repairs needed to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge. These floor boards are held in place with anchor plates and collar nails which results in a characteristic rattling of the deck with the traffic moving.

Here are some GE Panoramio shots of the bridge.  First this, by RLBookMD of the toll booth:

pano-rlbookmd

And this, showing the wooden floor of the bridge (by Princessunflower):

pano-princessunflower

And this lovely shot of the bridge, by Charlie Anzman:

pano-charlie-anzman

I LOVE THIS BRIDGE!!!!

Calm down, old man (I’m talking to myself). It’s time for some GE Pano shots closer to my landing, and it turns out that there’s a scenic waterfall not far from my landing, Shohola Falls:

ge-shohola-falls

First this, by Aaron Nuffer:

pano-aaron-nuffer

And another by Aaron:

pano-aaron-nuffer-2

And this, by long-time ALAD contributor, Chris Sanfino (OK, so it’s a scene close to the falls):

pano-chris-sanfino

And I’ll close with this one by Clock Doc (making me think of my dear departed friend Mike Kinney, a master clock builder/repairman):

pano-clockdoc

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

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