Willis Rivinus – 6

DelCanal_01-Interviewee:  Will Rivinus
Date of birth:  1928/86
Interviewer:  Jack Donohue
Interview date:  September 3, 2015
Interview location:  Rivinus home
Interview length:  21 minutes
Time span discussed:  1950s to 2015

Summary:  Will discusses his book A Complete Guide to the Delaware and Lehigh Canals:  A National Heritage Corridor. The forming of the corridor by dedicated volunteers, and the federal legislation designating the route as a National Heritage Corridor is summarized as well as Will’s leadership of the Corridor’s governing body from 1982 until 1991. Several of the many points of interest and aspects of history around the Corridor are highlighted.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction
01:02 – President Reagan (Will misspoke–said Nixon) signs legislation creating the Delaware and Lehigh Canals National Heritage Corridor
02:05 – explaining a corridor park
02:45 – Will first Commission chairman
03:34 – route of coal barges through 165 miles of canals; cross-section of eastern United States
05:26 – changing ethnic populations along the canal route and through history
06:10 – Lehigh Valley’s evolution from farming to mining iron ore and back
06:46 – during World War I Bethlehem Steel largest steel manufacturer world-wide, by World War II still employed 20,000 people; no longer in Bethlehem
07:08 – cultural aspects of corridor; cross-section of American history
08:46 – National Park Service funded research for significance of corridor and action plan for the area; popular book grew out of this research, now out of print
10:58 – book explains different environmental areas along corridor, towns each have fascinating aspects, villages, historic homes, industries; Wilkes Barre to Bristol
13:52 – a dream is now a thriving National Heritage site; signs along the way, maps available; landmark towns
16:08 – steel plant in Bethlehem now hotel and casino; Smithsonian helped build museum
17:45 – “Get your tail on the trail” walking campaign
19:10 – after 25 years the park is still here and thriving

DelCanal_02-03If you have a copy of this book that you no longer want, please email us or call 215 297 5091 and leave a message. We would love to have a copy for our library.

Will Rivinus interview 1, auto show.
Will Rivinus interview 2, floods.

Will Rivinus interview 3, authored books.
Will Rivinus interview 4, FODC.
Will Rivinus interview 5, restaurants.


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