front cover of Bridges Over the Delaware River
Bridges Over the Delaware River
A History of Crossings
Frank T. Dale
Rutgers University Press, 2003

When Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware River, it is a shame he couldn't have invited local historian Frank T. Dale along for the ride. Dale could have suggested the easiest crossing points.

Fortunately for contemporary readers, Dale has written a fascinating book chronicling thirty-five of the most historic bridges crossing the Delaware, some of which have served the residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York for almost two centuries. Many of us take these bridges for granted as we speed across, impatient to reach our destination, but their histories are too interesting to ignore.

Dale brings us the stories behind each bridge, covering design, engineering, ownership, finances, and politics. He chronicles the life of each, from the original construction, through modifications, and, sometimes, through the bridges' multiple destructions and reconstructions. Along the way, Dale recounts the history of the area surrounding each bridge, including the demise of ferry services, reasons why each bridge was built, politics surrounding construction, debates over public versus privately owned bridges, and stories of the floods and fires that threatened not only the bridges, but the local residents. Dozens of rare photos give readers a captivating window back into the past.

These fine old structures have become integral parts of Delaware River life and have an exciting past of their own. Bridges over the Delaware River will ensure that their legacies endure.


front cover of Canoeing the Delaware River
Canoeing the Delaware River
Letcher, Gary
Rutgers University Press, 1997
Canoeing the Delaware River provides a mile-by-mile account of the Delaware's course from where the East and West Branches meet in Hancock, New York, two hundred miles downstream to tidewater at Trenton, New Jersey. The book describes rapids, access areas, and points of interest in detail. It is an invaluable resource to both the novice out for an afternoon paddle and the adventurer on a ten-day trip. This completely revised and updated edition provides new maps, guides to river outfitters, campgrounds, information sources on river conditions, and new photographs.In addition to guiding the way, Canoeing the Delaware River portrays the people, places, and events associated with the river from its colorful past through present times. Gary Letcher also includes information on canoe safety and environmental concerns.

front cover of Delaware Diary
Delaware Diary
Episodes in the Life of a River
Frank Dale
Rutgers University Press, 1996
Everyone knows that Washington crossed the Delaware and turned the "times that try men's souls" into a triumphal victory. And today residents of and visitor to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania enjoy canoeing and tubing, shad fishing and bed and breakfasting along the Delaware. Have you ever wondered about the life of the river in the two centuries in between? The Delaware was the scene of important events after the Revolution, too- an early and tragic experiment in steam propulsion, a notoriously lethal prison camp in the Civil War, memorable floods, hurricanes, ice storms, and even a furious battle with the U.S. army.

Frank Dale, who has lived near the Delaware all of his life, has burrowed into old newspaper files and archives and traced down eyewitnesses o the life of the Delaware. Rivers were the highways of choice in early America, and the Delaware presented much greater challenges than the nearby Hudson. Filled with rapid, falls, and inconvenient rocks, the river refused to accommodate itself easily to the needs of commerce. The rivermen who ventured down the Delaware on massive timber rafts or Durham boats filled with iron ore earned a deserved reputation for pure ornery courage. Later entrepreneurs tried steamboats, canals, and bridges to attempt to harness and exploit this most unexploitable river, with decidedly mixed results. In recent times, the Tocks Island Dam was defeated by a community that had come to admire the river's stubborn resistance to being conquered and harnesses to human ends. Canoeists and waterside strollers can now appreciate its unspoiled beauties.

front cover of The Other Jersey Shore
The Other Jersey Shore
Life on the Delaware River
Michael Aaron Rockland
Rutgers University Press, 2024
River otters, black bears, and red foxes drink from its clear waters. Prickly pear cacti grow from the red shale cliffs that overlook it, while on the river near Bordentown lies the archeological remnants of a sprawling estate built by the former King of Spain, Napoleon’s brother, who lived there for almost twenty years. You might imagine this magical and majestic waterway is located in some faraway land. But in fact, it’s the backbone and lifeblood of the Garden State: the Delaware River.
The Other Jersey Shore takes readers on a personal tour of the New Jersey portion of the Delaware River and its surroundings. You will learn about the role that the river played in human history, including Washington’s four crossings of the Delaware during the Revolutionary War. And you will also learn about the ecological history of the river itself, once one of the most polluted waterways in the country and now one of the cleanest, providing drinking water for 17 million people. Michael Aaron Rockland, a long-time New Jersey resident, shows readers his very favorite spots along the Delaware, including the pristine waterfalls and wilderness in the Delaware Water Gap recreation area. Along the way, he shares engrossing stories and surprising facts about the river that literally defines western New Jersey. 


front cover of A Paddler's Guide to the Delaware River
A Paddler's Guide to the Delaware River
Kayaking, Canoeing, Rafting, Tubing
Letcher, Gary
Rutgers University Press, 2012

When Henry Hudson explored the Delaware River in 1609, he dubbed it “one of the finest, best, and pleasantest rivers in the world.” Today, those same qualities make the Delaware one of the most popular rivers for recreational use in the United States. Although in places a near-wilderness, the Delaware is easily accessible to millions of residents. On any summer day there may be thousands of people rushing down its exciting rapids or lazing through its serene eddies.

A Paddler’s Guide to the Delaware River is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to experience the Delaware River in a kayak, canoe, raft, or tube—or, for that matter, an automobile or an armchair. Reading the book is like travelling down the river with an experienced guide. It charts the non-tidal Delaware 200 miles from Hancock, New York, to Trenton, New Jersey, describing access points, rapids, natural features, villages, historical sites, campgrounds, outfitters, and restaurants. The Delaware comes alive as the author introduces some of the people, places, events, and  controversies that have marked the river from earliest times to the present day.
Completely revised, the third edition offers:

  • An overview of the river including watershed, history, place names, paddlecraft, safety, and fishing.
  • The River Guide: ten sections that can each be paddled in one day (about 20 miles), with a mile-by-mile account of rapids, access, natural features, historic sites, and other features.
  • All new maps, with names for virtually every rapid, eddy, and other river feature, plus detailed diagrams for routes through even the most severe rapids.
  • Features in the River Guide highlight the people, events, natural history, and communities that define the river experience, such as Tom Quick, the infamous “avenger of the Delaware”; the mysterious migration of eels, the battle over Tocks Island Dam; and many others.
  • Appendices of Important Contacts, Outfitters and Campgrounds, River Trip Checklists, and more.

Whether you are a novice out for an afternoon float, a seasoned adventurer on an overnight expedition, or a resident fascinated by the lore of the Delaware Valley, this book is an invaluable guide.


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