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It was shortly after this meeting with Franklin that the New Jersey Legislature .. On the road from Trenton to Brunswick I never saw any place in America, the The bridge still stands, and over it pass the trolley tracks of the Pennsylvania and . New Brunswick's trolleys fell under the Central Jersey Division, the Hoboken Inclined Cable Railway, and the Newark-Trenton Fast Line. Presbytery of New Brunswick met in Second Presbyterian church of Trenton. . Princeton steam railroad line bought by the Johnson trolley company.
The usual Durham boat was flat-bottomed and had vertical sides which ran parallel to each other up to a point 12 or 14 feet from the end, where they began to taper. It was constructed of sturdy inch-and-a-quarter oak planks, and measured 60 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 42 inches deep. Downstream it was possible to load it with as much as 17 tons, but 2 tons was the limit upstream.
Newark–Trenton Fast Line - Wikipedia
It took three men to direct its progress. Anderson, Navigation on the Upper Delaware, p. The Durham boat was used extensively in carrying flour, whiskey, meat and iron products from Trenton and points north along the river to the markets lower down on the Delaware. The men who guided the heavy boats downstream made Trenton, or more specifically, Lamberton, their main stopping place. References to them are so few that one cannot hope to reconstruct the scene of a century ago with any degree of completeness.
The more ancient landings were situated in Lamberton. Of the first two wharves to be built in Bloomsbury, one was located about feet south of the lower bridge site and the other on the site of the municipal terminals at the foot of Ferry Street. The first-mentioned landing was built in by Alexander Chambers, to whom the historian, Hall, refers as the first man to establish Bloomsbury as a port for sloops.
It was probably built aboutto accommodate the steamboat Phoenix. Adjoining the steamboat wharf and running north for feet along the river front and for the same distance on Bloomsbury Street in the rear, was a lot owned by J. Evans, on which there was a wharf. It was probably built after the steamboat wharf was erected.
In it was owned by Smith alone. To the north of it was the wharf owned by Benjamin Fish, who was a prominent figure in river transportation in the early decades of the last century. To this landing came his three sloops. His warehouse was located in the rear of the wharf, on the lot next to the southwest corner of what was Ferry and Fair now Bloomsbury Streets. Fish kept a store near his wharf where he took orders for the stove coal which the arks brought to his wharf direct from the Lehigh fields.
This store, with its goods and groceries, was offered for sale in There were other landings nearby, but their owners and the years of their erection are unknown. The first mention of a wharf in Lamberton is found in an advertisement 5 published in There was a storehouse attached to the landing.
William Richards had a landing in Lamberton near the foot of Landing Street during the Revolution; from it ran his schooner, the Lamberton Packet, which carried passengers and goods to and from Philadelphia. Howell built a wharf in Lamberton near the steamboat landing. The wharf, along with his lumberyard, house and stores, was advertised to let in Several other wharves existed below the steamboat landing. Among them may be noted the two docks at the foot of Lalor Street, one immediately below the line of the street and the other just to the north of it.
There was a wharf situated on the river bank several hundred yards above the latter landing. At one time it belonged to the Lenox family of Lamberton, along with a warehouse of fair size. Both wharf and warehouse were destroyed in the ice freshet of Recent excavations have unearthed evidences of old warehouses and docks below Lalor Street, but who owned them is unknown.
Newark–Trenton Fast Line
Elijah Bond had a small landing on his tract below the present site of Riverview cemetery, in the middle of the eighteenth century. In an advertisement appearing in8 Rutherford speaks of his large wharf as the only one above Trenton Falls for the Easton and Durham boats trading there. In an earlier day there were wharves in Little River, the stream which flowed between Gravel Island and the mainland.
The century was almost done when John Fitch came along with the first practical application of steam to the moving of a vessel. It is not until recently that he has received due credit for the part he played in the invention of the steamboat. Fitch was born in what is now South Windsor, Conn.
As a boy he was apprenticed to a watchmaker; from this he turned to following the sea, but it, too, failed to hold him for long.
Fitch wandered down to Trenton inand was taken in as an apprentice by Matthew Clunn, a tinsmith and maker of brass buttons.
This was in May. During the summer he worked under James Wilson at silversmithing, but in September he took to peddling brass and silver buttons around the neighboring countryside. As a member of the Continental army during the early years of the Revolution, Fitch managed a gun shop here in which he employed as many as 60 men in turning out work for the New Jersey troops. When the British came into this section, Fitch, along with many Trentonians, crossed the river into Bucks County.
Inand in the three or four years following, he made several trips into the territory now known as Kentucky; on one of these excursions he was captured by the Indians, turned over to the British, taken to Canada, and finally sent back to New York in an exchange of prisoners.
It was after his return home to Bucks County that he conceived the idea of applying steam to navigation. The date is usually indicated as April By August he was exhibiting his first boat - a small, crude affair, propelled by paddle wheels run by a tiny engine - to the provosts of the University of Pennsylvania and to the authorities at Princeton College.
Several weeks later he petitioned the Virginia Legislature for assistance, and then the Pennsylvania and Maryland Legislatures. None gave him aid. Perhaps the most bitter disappointment experienced by Fitch at this time came at the hands of Benjamin Franklin, the dean of American science, or natural philosophy, as it was then called. Most of the evidence comes from Fitch.
He writes that he approached Benjamin Franklin for a certificate testifying to the merits of his invention, and though Franklin praised his endeavor, he evaded giving him a certificate. Instead, he made Fitch an offer of charity, which Fitch refused.East Penn Trolley Meet 2013
In this connection, it is interesting to note a letter written by Franklin from Philadelphia in We have no philosophical news here at present, except that a boat, moved by a steam-engine, rows itself against tide in our river, and it is apprehended that the construction may be so simplified and improved as to be generally useful. There were refinements to be made, plans to be modified, before he could testify to the practical and efficient qualities of the boat.
It was shortly after this meeting with Franklin that the New Jersey Legislature granted Fitch the exclusive franchise for 14 years. With this encouragement, Fitch went about the organizing of a company. The builder of the boat, Henry Voight, of Philadelphia, received stock of the company for his work.
The boat was a small one, with an engine possessing a single cylinder of 3-inch bore. The first trials on the Delaware, held July 20,were unsuccessful.
Fitch had experimented with several methods of propelling the boat; the plan that succeeded was that in which the side paddles were moved by cranks worked by an engine. The first boat in America to be propelled successfully by steam moved on the Delaware on July 27, It was an enthusiastic Fitch who wrote to Stacy Potts from Philadelphia the next day. I will say fourteen in theory and twelve in practice. His first successful boat made several trips on the river near Philadelphia in the autumn of Delaware, however, confirmed his right to his invention.
Lacking skilled workmen, Fitch had to depend upon fumbling blacksmiths in the manufacture of this new engine. Their faulty work was the cause of many accidents and delays. Finally the boat moved on the river in full view of practically the entire Continental Convention August 22, Fitch thought it an appropriate time for once again petitioning the Continental Congress for aid; this time the bill was reported out of committee, but died on the floor of the House.
The new boat traversed the Philadelphia-Burlington route for the first time in July At the end of the run, the boiler burst and the ship had to be floated back to Philadelphia. A new boiler was installed and on October 16 Fitch ran his steamboat, on which were a company of prominent guests, up the Delaware to Burlington, and then on to Trenton, returning to Philadelphia the same day.
In order to cut down the time on the Philadelphia-Trenton run to five hours, an auxiliary company was formed to finance the building of a new inch cylinder engine. During the boat made several trips to Burlington and Trenton, but regular service could not be maintained because of the unreliable machinery. It made its last trips on the Delaware in An advertisement which appeared on June 14 of that year informed the public that: This craft was the first steam vessel anywhere to be employed in the business of transporting passengers and freight.
The boat made more or less regular trips up and down the river during the summer and fall of Those who travelled on it placed its speed at eight miles an hour. Congress granted Fitch letters patent on his invention in April Tired and embittered, Fitch withdrew from a world that had shown him little kindness.
He settled on his tract at Bardstown, Ky. There he died on July 2,the circumstances of his death pointing to suicide. The grave is marked with a monument. John Fitch Way runs from the municipal wharf along the river front as far as Assunpink Creek. It was formerly Commercial Avenue, but the name was changed by an ordinance passed early in The Fitch boulder was dredged from the river and set up at the lower end of John Fitch Way, near the municipal wharf.
After an appropriate bronze tablet had been attached, it was dedicated on November 30, Stevens thereupon sent the Phoenix from Hoboken down to Philadelphia under her own steam in A storm came up, the pilot boat became separated from the steamboat, and the Phoenix, long overdue at Philadelphia, was given up for lost. The Phoenix, however, rode out the storm and ended up in Barnegat Bay, from which place she proceeded on to Philadelphia.
She was the first steamboat ever to travel upon any ocean. Her running time between here and Philadelphia was three hours running with the stream and five hours against it. The Phoenix was on this route untilwhen she grounded on the mud flats at Kensington.
The presence of steamboats on the Delaware did not affect the extensive sloop trade to any marked degree at first. It was not until a decade later - about - that their competition began to tell. In the sloop Factor set out regularly from its Bloomsbury landing every Monday during the milder season, and returned from Philadelphia on Thursdays.
The sloop Traveller, too, maintained a regular packet service weekly on the same route. In we find the sloop Try-All, under the command of Captain Johnston, maintaining a regular packet service to Philadelphia. This sloop had once been owned by Alexander Chambers and General Beatty, 14 but the partnership was dissolved in and Chambers became sole owner.
The Trenton sloops played an important part in rendering the British blockade at New York and Philadelphia during the War of for nought. These sloops transported all sorts of military supplies from Philadelphia to Trenton, where they were loaded on wagons and taken to New Brunswick, there to be carried forward to New York.
From to there were several steamboats on the Delaware between Philadelphia and Bordentown, among them the Philadelphia. Stages met the boat at the latter place and carried the passengers forward to Trenton and New Brunswick.
Boats stopping at Burlington or Bordentown were also met by stages at these places. Nathaniel Shuff of Bloomsbury was the proprietor of one of these stage lines. His stage carried the passengers to Trenton and points as far beyond as New York.
The Philadelphia was also known as Old Sal, probably because of the grotesque female figurehead which she carried on her bow. In we find her on the Trenton route, running from Philadelphia every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 a. The Union Line countered with the New Philadelphia, which it put on the same route in Stevens, owner of the Philadelphia, did not permit this competition to pass unnoticed; he put the Franklin into the Trenton-Philadelphia service and lowered the fare to one dollar each way.
Carriages met the boat at the Bloomsbury wharf and carried the passengers up to the Trenton hotels gratis. This service was imitated by all the boats - the Stevens-owned Philadelphia and Franklin, and the Trenton of the Union Line.
Philadelphia-bound passengers were called for at their hotels on the morning of their departure and carried to the wharves free of charge. The Union Line Company, of which Benjamin Fish was the president, also carried passengers in its stages between the steamboat landing and Princeton, New Brunswick and New York, at fixed rates. Atkinson was the Trenton agent for the Union Line coaches. Many of the sloop lines also found their way into the hands of this corporation.
Before this huge merging process took place there were a few changes in the list of river steamers. In came the Union Line Baltimore, 22 mentioned above, and this was displaced in a few months by the steamer Burlington.
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In May the Major Barnet, a foot boat, licensed to carry passengers, came to Trenton. Its owners intended it for the transportation of passengers and goods between Lambertville and Easton.
The problem, of course, was to run the steamboat through the falls. Several unsuccessful attempts were made in the summer ofbut it was not until November that the Major Barnet achieved the upper Delaware.
Morris, a riverman, found the 22 inches of water necessary for navigating the boat, and steered it up through Trenton Falls to the foot of Wells Falls without difficulty. At Wells Falls it was necessary to use full steam, two men with poles, and men tugging at a rope which had been fastened to the rocks at the entrance to the falls, before the boat got through.
It took the Major Barnet ten minutes to travel feet, but it was done, and the boat was the first steamboat on the upper Delaware. She was active in the Easton trade, but the railroad put her out of business. In the Hornet appeared on the Delaware and plied between Trenton and Philadelphia. The fare was 25c and persons leaving their name at the Rising Sun Hotel the night before would be called for by the omnibus the next morning.
On May 7,the Edwin Forrest made her first trip to Trenton. She ran daily except in winter between Trenton and Philadelphia for many years, being obliged to regulate her departure by the tide because of the shoals at Perriwig Island below. Her wharf was in the rear of Bloomsbury House. The boat was owned by Joseph and Benjamin McMackin.
As a matter of fact there were two Edwin Forrests, the first one a wooden steam-boat and the second, which began to run inbeing of iron construction. The second one carried great quantities of freight and was well patronized by passengers, making the river trip for business or pleasure. McIntyre succeeded Captain Benjamin McMackin and was on the bridge up to the time she was retired in Considering that there was an Edwin Forrest in service for forty-seven years, it is not surprising that many local memories are enshrined about the name.
All freight brought to Trenton by the sloops and steamboats during the first half of the century was transferred to heavy wagons and hauled to New Brunswick, where it was placed on ships to be carried to New York. Some of the goods were kept, for the time being, in the many warehouses along the river.
The steamboats which covered the Trenton-Philadelphia route in a later day included the Twilight, City of Trenton which finally blew up because of a boiler explosionPokonoket, Burlington, Columbia and John A. The landing for these boats was just below Lalor Street, and adjoining it was a warehouse. He also had to certify shipments of merchandise bought in foreign ports, and the license papers of every ship operating over the route just mentioned. The office was later transferred to Camden and Philadelphia.
The present mayor of Trenton, Frederick W.
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Donnelly, has been largely instrumental in bringing about the necessary deepening of the channel. By Act of General Assembly, passed December 21,a commission was appointed to receive subscriptions for clearing the river above Trenton Falls as far as Easton.
The commissioners had power to clear, open, enlarge, straighten or deepen the river. The work was subcontracted out, Major Robert Hoops actually doing the work near Trenton Falls and completing the task in It was in the period immediately preceding the coming of the railroad that a real interest was manifested in improving the Delaware.
In the inhabitants of Burlington and Hunterdon petitioned the Legislature relative to removing the sandbar on Perriwig Island. The committee of the House was averse both to recommending a grant from the Treasury for financing the work or permitting a lottery to be raised locally. It did, however, recommend that the petitioners be allowed to present a bill which would authorize them to go upon Perriwig Island and remove the obstruction themselves.
Nothing, however, was done in the matter. On November 13,the Legislature had passed an Act authorizing the building of a lock in the river at Trenton, for the improvement of navigation.
The purpose of this lock is indicated by the text of a like Act, passed February 9,authorizing Daniel W. Coxe, Samuel Wright, Jr. On June 25,the federal government adopted the project for a channel 12 feet deep at mean low water, and feet wide, from Alleghany Avenue, Philadelphia, to Lalor Street, Trenton, and for the construction of dikes at Biles Island, Bordentown, and Mud Island. The greatest amount of dredging by far was done in the channel between Trenton and Bordentown.
The project for deepening the channel above Lalor Street as far as the railroad bridge was adopted by the federal government on July 25, A bill passed through the state legislature in February of that year made it that the route existed on paper, but it was not until that the project became a reality. The line would change ownership several times before closing for good in the late 's. But the company, unable to keep up with transportation modernization, was purchased by the Brunswick Traction Company in The lines were electrified, and extended to nearby Milltown.
Inthe line would be further expanded to include routes to Metuchen, Piscataway and Highland Park. A year later, a line was laid down that would travel out of New Brunswick, then cross the Raritan to the river's north bank before heading to the small villages of Bound Brook, Somerville and Raritan. They would in turn, purchase the small nearby Perth Amboy Railroad Company.
Originally, there were two seperate lines from New Brunswick to Perth Amboy, with a layover in Metuchen. When the Public Service Corporation took over the route inthe two lines were merged together. The line would cease operations in two years later. Among the lines that were once owned by PSC was the Easton Car Line, which like the Middlesex Car Line, was a result of failed business adventures by previous regional transportation companies.
The line was originally operated by the New Brunswick City Railroad, until its foreclosure in Between andthe line was operated by the New Brunswick City Railway Company, which electified the route and trolley cars.
The double-tracked line began at the corner of Huntington Street and Easton Avenue, and headed to Albany and George Streets, before traversing Throop Avenue, and eventually Commercial Avenue, which ended at a massive railyard near the border with North Brunswick. Two cars were assigned to the line when it was taken over by PSC ineach car taking 15 minutes for a one-way trip from end to end.
Launched inthe line saw limited success, and so its number of cars were reduced. Low ridership stemmed from the fact that the line tried to connect downtown New Brunswick with Highland Park. Ultimately, the small village had no need for such a route at that time.
The Burnett Car Line was designed to serve the docks, wharves and warehouses that made up the market district of New Brunswick. Instead, low ridership ended up killing the route in Today, Burnett Street has largely been replaced by Route 18, which runs parallel to the Raritan River.