Chapter Program, Annual Meeting & Picnic

Waterworks with Canal

Monday, October 8, 2018

Inland: the Abandoned Canals of the Schuylkill Navigation

Photographer Sandy Sorlien of the Fairmount Water Works will present highlights of her recently completed documentary project. With the assistance of local canal historians and an urban archaeologist, Sandy has researched and photographed the entirety of the 108-mile Schuylkill Navigation slackwater-canal system, from anthracite coal country to tidewater at Fairmount. This is perhaps the most significant linear archeological feature in Pennsylvania, having been the original impetus for 19th century industrial growth in the Schuylkill Valley and beyond. The Navigation was built 1816-1828, but during the 1940s-50s Schuylkill River Desilting Project, much of the stone infrastructure was dismantled or buried, or left to overgrowth. Yet the intrepid explorer may still find beautiful Navigation landscapes and informative remains. In a lively slide talk, Sandy will present a selection of her color photographs of dams, locks, aqueducts, and canals, along with historic images and maps

Sandy Sorlien was born and raised in the Schuylkill Valley. She has worked at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center since 2013. Previously her career in landscape photography included three Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She taught photography at the University of the Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia University, and Moore College of Art & Design, and has exhibited at the Michener Museum, the Print Center, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and currently, in the Pennsylvania Landscape show at the Woodmere Art Museum. Sandy also consults in the urban planning field, writing design and zoning codes for towns and cities. In 2015 she won a Knight Cities Challenge Grant to train Roxborough citizens to write their own Neighborhood Conservation Overlays.

Time: 6PM Picnic           7PM Annual Meeting             7:15 Program

Place: Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 640 Waterworks Drive

           You can park on the Circle, closer to the FWWIC

Cost: $15 per person by Advanced Reservation only

Note: Food is only ordered for reservations. Mail your name and number in party with check payable to OE/SIA, to arrive no later than October 6 to: Larry DeYoung, 54 N. Waterloo Rd., Devon, PA 19333. If you wish to pay at the door, e-mail Larry at

Questions: Send an e-mail to

DEADLINE: October 6, 2018