Watching the reenactment of George Washington Crossing the Delaware is an annual tradition, but this year one of New Hope Borough’s park benches took a nontraditional trip across the river, courtesy of Hurricane Ida.
Sometime on the night of Sept. 1, as the hurricane’s remnants swept through the region and flood waters breached the riverbank, one of the benches in Ferry Landing Park was swept away through an iron fence and into the Delaware River. New Hope Public Works noticed the bench was missing the following morning, and added it to the growing list of storm damage and losses.
A week later, the phone rang at Borough Hall. Members of the Red Dragon Canoe Club in Beverly, N.J., were wondering if New Hope had lost a bench.
The solid teak wood bench had wound its way down more than 30 miles of river, dodging rocks and bridge pilings, arriving safely on the New Jersey riverbank across from Neshaminy State Park. Teak is prized by shipwrights for its durability and water resistance, but this particular watercraft is not what they generally have in mind.