The D&H Canal was conceived by the Wurts brothers as a means to transport anthracite coal from their Pennsylvania mines to the Hudson River at Kingston, New York, from where it was shipped downriver to New York City. This 108-mile, 108-lock waterway operated from 1828 until 1898, and its construction is associated with such new technologies and feats of civil engineering as the gravity railroad and the cable suspension bridge.
The canal was constructed along a previously unsettled route in less than three years using only picks, shovels, draft animals and blasting powder. Towns and villages sprang up along its route, and industries developed to exploit local resources such as lumber, agricultural products, and bluestone. Natural (hydraulic) cement was discovered near High Falls in 1825, and was used in constructing the canal and in building structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. The availability of anthracite coal was a boon to the Hudson Valley brick industry, which supplied the building needs of metropolitan New York.
Resources for learning more about the D&H Canal can be found on the links page