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Prallsville Mills sets talk by D&R Canal historian

Canal author and historian Linda J. Barth will introduce visitors to the people, the bridges, the locks, and the aqueducts that made the Delaware & Raritan Canal work, at the next Prallsville Mills Speakers Series talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21.

The waterway, now the centerpiece of a popular state park, transported men and supplies between New York and Philadelphia during three wars.

Inventor John Holland used the canal to deliver his Holland VI submarine to Washington for its Navy trials, and luxury yachts, like J.P. Morgan’s Tarantula, cruised the waterway.

For more than 170 years, the Delaware and Raritan Canal has meandered across the narrow waist of New Jersey. It was one of the nation’s most successful towpath canals, carrying more tonnage in 1866 than the more famous Erie Canal.

Johnson & Johnson, Roebling, and Fleischmann’s Distillery all had their start along the D&R.

A teacher and a lifelong resident of the Garden State, Barth has written two books on the D&R Canal for Arcadia Publishing and two children’s picture books. She has also contributed to the “Encyclopedia of New Jersey,” and she just completed “New Jersey Originals,” volume two of New Jersey firsts and inventions.