Course Description

The Manayunk Canal is a remaining segment of a canal system that once stretched over 106 miles from the anthracite region of Schuylkill County down the Schuylkill River into Philadelphia. It was one of the first anthracite canals built to bring coal through this network and served as a key component of Philadelphia’s Industrial Revolution, while also shaping the evolution of outlying communities such as Phoenixville, Pottstown, Reading, and Schuylkill Haven. The Canal differed from most canals of its time because it was comprised of segments, with inlet and outlet locks around difficult sections of the river, as well as the slackwater created by numerous dams constructed up and down the river. The first lock was constructed in East Falls at the neighborhood's waterfall. The last construction was of the Fairmount Dam in 1823, the creation of which caused the slackwater to cover the rocks past East Falls. The Manayunk Section was completed in 1818.


Robert Armstrong - Trails and Transportation Program Manager, City of Philadelphia Managing Director's Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, & Sustainability

Katherine (Kay) Sykora - Project Manager (retired), Manayunk Development Corporation

David Weld - Project Manager, Philadelphia Water Department

Lance Butler - Administrative Scientist, Philadelphia Water Department

Webinar Curriculum

  Welcome to the Manayunk Canal's History and Recent Restoration Projects (1 PDH)
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