Abandoned canals of the Schuylkill navigation

Tue, June 8, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

A talk by Sandy Sorlien
presented by The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

A Philadelphia native and longtime Manayunk Canal neighbor, Sandy is an Environmental Photographer and tour developer for the Fairmount Water Works. Starting in 2014, she bushwhacked the entirety of the 108-mile, 200-year-old Navigation system, documenting the stone ruins of locks, dams, and aqueducts. She’ll show some of these hand-built works, most from the 1840s. She will also address the Navigation’s role in the Industrial Revolution, as canal boats brought anthracite coal from Schuylkill County to tidewater at Philadelphia. The dams, development, and coal waste caused a pollution disaster requiring a major river cleanup, which buried many of the historic sites – fortunately not all of them. Sandy’s project has been supported by the Charles E. Peterson Fellowship Fund of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Photographer and urban planner Sandy Sorlien will present photographs, maps, and drawings from her upcoming book, Inland: The Abandoned Canals of the Schuylkill Navigation. (Fall, 2022)

Zoom information will be sent the day of the event. Register here to receive the link for the free talk.


In case you missed Bob Thomas’s canal presentation for The Lower Merion Conservancy, it is available as a recording in the link below. 1821 to 2021: 200 Years on Our Regional Network of Historic Canals

The webinar recording is now available on the Conservancy’s website. Please feel free to share with friends and neighbors!