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[graphic header] A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
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[graphic] Stoddartsville Historic District


[photo]
Several views of the Stoddartsville Historic District, including the falls of the Lehigh River and gristmill ruins; the Eugene Stull house "The Fieldstones," two of the numerous summer cottages in the district
Photographs from National Register collection

[photo] "The Cabin", an example of one of the early 20th-century rustic resort cottages within the district
Photograph from National Register collection

One of the pivotal industrial resources of the Lehigh River region, Stoddartsville is the site of an early 19th-century milling village built by entrepreneur John Stoddart in partnership with Josiah White. Here White built the first bear trap locks that made possible the canalization of the upper Lehigh River. When the area's industrial business ventures proved unsuccessful, and the milling village demised, a small resort community developed among the remnants of Stoddart's company town. Within the village are the prehistoric and Revolutionary War routes across the river. Stoddartsville includes the ruins of the immense gristmill (one of the largest in the state) and sawmill built by Stoddart, the ruins of the bear trap lock, worker and manager housing, and rustic resort cottages of the early 20th century.

Today, Stoddartsville is a private residential community. The Stoddartsville Historic District consists of houses and cottages, outbuildings and wells, as well as the ruins of mills and mill races, walls and landscape features, and early roads that were once part of an early 19th-century milling and transportation center. Two principal visual features of the district, one natural, the other man-made, command attention. The natural feature, which determined the location of Stoddartsville, is the "Great Falls of the Lehigh River." Here a band of bedrock has been worn by the river into a multi-story cascade that descends to a deep pool of water carved by the force of the fall. Directly confronting the falls is the other remarkable element of the district, the two remaining walls of the giant gristmill that formed the economic focus of Stoddart's village. Built of roughly shaped, local stones that were carefully cut only at the corners, the mill remains a commanding presence despite the loss of a roof and of a substantial portion of the building. Looming higher than any agricultural building of its era, it has a footprint of 50 by 70 feet. Chimney or vent shafts at the corners provide clues to the evolution of the Oliver Evans-type gristmill that was pioneered in the Philadelphia region. The mill was damaged by flooding in 1862, and was largely destroyed in the 1875 forest fire that swept through the region.

The Stoddartsville Historic District is located on the south side of PA Rte. 115 at the Lehigh River. Most of the buildings are private residences, and not open to the public. .


 [graphic] Link to Canal History Essay
 [graphic] Link to Delaware and Lehigh Region Essay
 [graphic] Link to Scranton and the Railroad Essay
 [graphic] Link to Establishing the Heritage Corridor Essay

 

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