General History | Reigart’s Landing | Graeff’s Landing | First Lock | Second Lock | Third Lock | Fourth Lock | Fifth Lock | Sixth Lock | Seventh Lock | Eighth Lock | Ninth Lock | Slackwater Navigation Adventure
“The Head of the Navigation” sounds a lot more auspicious than “the end of the line.” But essentially it was just that. Beyond this point, the depth of water was not planned to be greater than the minimum four (4′) feet required downstream. The Tow Path also presumably ended here.[insert 1850 map]
One of the stunning things to bear in mind is that this point is more than a mile upstream from the Lock #1 dam, which was built high enough to be able to impound water to create the minimum depth of water here. Here, too was a bridge in roughly the same location as the Strawberry Street bridge into today’s Lancaster County Central Park.[insert Then and Now bridge images]
This juxtaposed image offers you a rough comparison between the stagecoach bridge at this location and today’s concrete bridge.
Quickly, this area became a hub of commercial activity, with a steam-driven saw mill, tavern, warehouses, and ice houses.[Insert illustrated atlas image]
Today, two physical landmarks harken to these bygone days.[Insert Apartments on Chesapeake image]
A townhouse development offers a nod to what was once here.
The tavern (or mansion) itself was torn down in the 1960s.[Insert mansion image]
The other landmark is a bronze plaque set in a large stone on the south side of the bridge entering County Central Park. It describes some facts accurately, but some only partially. The number of locks changed over the years, as you’ll learn while traveling downstream.