Anna K. Shaudys

Name of interviewee:  Anna Kirkbride Shaudys
Date of birth/age at interview:  1905/88
Interviewer:  Lance Metz, Mr. Ferman
Interview date:  December 7, 1993
Interview location:  Shaudys home, Washington Crossing, PA
Interview length:  28 minutes
Time span discussed:  1905 to 1993

Summary:  From a woman who grew up next to the canal and lived there into her 90s, we get a first-hand view of the canal life from 1905 to 1992. Colorful boatmen, stubborn mules, stories about skating to school, and various reflections fill out the picture of the canal from someone who clearly lived its impact on her life.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction; shooting Scudders Falls in a canoe, Wells Falls in New Hope
02:28 – lived along the canal a mile above lock 8, at the foot of 9-mile level (longer sections without locks); Frank Bordon locktender
03:10 – early memory of canal boats passing; youthful lessons on safety around canal; her father boarded mules for 25 cents a night; friendly with boatmen who often visited
06:44 – young brother fell into the canal, saved by Howard Gaddis; stubborn mule; kindness of boatmen; how boats passed each other, hopping boats for rides
09:45 – Charlie Eastburn’s quarry across road furnished stone for Delaware River Bridge (Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia); discussion of which bridge
14:00 – dredging the canal to maintain 6-foot depth in center; swimming in clear canal water
15:15 – boatmen colorful people, dressed in bib overalls
16:25 – food on the boats; most boatmen farmers, brought own food and chickens
17:17 – upper canal water from Lehigh River, contained coal; lower canal cleaner
17:45 – buying coal from the boats not cricket, load was weighed
18:25 – Howard Gaddis, Whiskey Jack Miller; Winter brothers later started canal barge (scow) rides at New Hope
20:25 – walked two miles on towpath to school at Taylorsville; sad when canal closed; interesting to go through locks
24:05 – maintenance people, bank boss Frank Sigafoos, Chester Lear
25:05 – flood of 1955; muskrat tales
28:18 – later day issues of people fencing off the canal towpath; Friends of the Delaware Canal
29:38 – mowing the banks in the 1920s; dredging
30:19 – discussion of the current day (1993) canal, land deed issues; note:  laws and agreement governing who owned what were set in 1830 as the canal was built
36:20 – sad to see canal close; learned to skate to school, swim; a living part of people’s lives

Tags: , , .