Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
Bridge Street, Stockton, Hunterdon County, NJ


Directions:

Route 29 south to Stockton; turn right onto Bridge Street; park on the street near the bridge over the Delaware River.  The D&R canal is on both sides of the street adjacent to the bridge.


History:

Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park: General Overview

Howell's Ferry carried passengers from Stockton over the Delaware River to Centre Bridge, Pennsylvania. 

1814  --  with the completion of the Centre Bridge over the river, the ferry was abandoned.

late 1830  --  construction of the D&R feeder canal from Bulls Island south to Trenton began.  Civil engineer Ashbel Welch (1809-1882), who became a resident of Lambertville, was put in charge of the project. 

1834  -- Welch finished the feeder canal.  The canal did not have much effect on Stockton because few vessels came this far north.  (The last major manufacturing center was at Brookville, south of town.)

1835  -- 26 year old Welch was made Chief Engineer of the Joint Companies (a combination of the Delaware and Raritan Canal and the Camden and Amboy Railroad). He held the position for 36 years.

Bridge Street with its bridge crosses the D&R canal, the Belvidere-Delaware Railroad, and the Delaware River. 

1836  --  the Camden and Amboy Railroad proposed the Belvidere Delaware Railroad (running from Trenton north to Belvidere in Warren County) as a feeder line to its system.  It carried coal, pig iron and agricultural products from the Delaware and Lehigh River valleys.  Welch would help construct the Bel-Del Railroad (its railway bed is now a bicycle and walking path, part of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park that runs through Lambertville).

1850-1855  --  Welch built the Bel-Del, locating the railbed on the Feeder Canal's berm bank.   

Civil War  -- the D&R canal and the C&A served as the "essential link" from the populations of the Northeast to the battlefields of Virginia. 

1871  --  the Pennsylvania Railroad leased the properties of the Joint Companies for 999 years.

mid-1920s  --  railway traffic starts to fall off. 

1923  --  the covered wood bridge over the Delaware River burned down.

1927  --  opening of the iron bridge over the river.

mid-1930s  -- the Pennsylvania Railroad cuts railway service on the Bel-Del.

1977  -- the Penn Central applied to eliminate railway traffic on the Bel-Del. The New Jersey State Legislature approves the development of a Master Plan for the development of a D&R Canal Park.


Sources: Edward Cohen, 1999, Lambertville’s Legacy: The Coryells, Ashbel Welch and Fred Lewis. Lambertville, NJ: Edward Cohen.)

Linda J. Barth 2002. Images of America: The Delaware and Raritan Canal. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.


Trails:

5/08/04.  We walked south for a short distance on the D&R Canal starting at the bridge over the Delaware River. The pathway is on a raised embankment with the canal on the left and sloping land down to the Delaware River on the right. 


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = date plants found in bloom, 5/08/04


Trees:
Acer negundo (ash leaf maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Acer sp. (Japanese maple)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Cercis canadensis (redbud) planted *
Betula nigra (river birch)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus avium (cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Hydrangea arborescens (wild hydrangea)
Ligustrum sp. (privet) long hedge of it
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle) *
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (black berry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)

Vines:
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (fox grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria, bluish) * planted
 

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Allium sp. (Canada onion)?
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil) * lots
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aguilegia canadensis (columbine) *
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) *
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine) *
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) *
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry) *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane ) * soon
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground) *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket) *
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)
Narcissus pseudonarcissus (daffodil)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple) *
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth true Solomon's seal) * soon
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) *
Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine)
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked buttercup) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad leaved dock)
Stellaria media (common chickweed) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) *
Veronica hederifolia (ivy-leaved speedwell)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) *

Sedges:
Carex rosea type (sedge)

Grasses:
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) *

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (red-stiped lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)