A Bit of History on the Delaware River

Delaware RiverVisiting the Northeast not only can be fun but also a look into our past. Being the first area in the country to be settled, it has the most history. Most people like to learn about certain cities or areas where battles have been fought and won. However, another area that is rich with history and always changing is the Delaware River. Rivers have always been a very important part of our survival, not only for food but also as a means of transportation. Check out some of the interesting history that has surrounded the Delaware River.

The Delaware River runs through 5 states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and is 388 miles long, including its 2 branches where the Delaware River meets the ocean in Cape May, NJ and Cape Henlopen, DE. The Delaware River watershed drains an area of over 14,000 square miles and is depended on of drinking water as well as washing and cooking water. To date, 5% of the United States depends on the Delaware River for drinking water, which estimates to over 15 million people.

The first visit to the Delaware River was in 1609 by Henry Hudson with the Dutch East India Trading Company. This wasn’t what Hudson was looking for but his discovery did help Dutch and Swedish settlers establish settlements and flourish.While going through a few names, the Delaware River is named after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr who was Virginia colony’s first royal governor. 

Over the years the Delaware River has been instrumental in the social and economic development of the Mid-Atlantic region. However, the most famous fact about the Delaware River is the famous crossing of it by George Washington in 1776 which helped him successfully surprise Hessian troops in New Jersey during the American Revolution. As soon as we could build boats, we have been using the Delaware River to ship things to different towns or help move families to different settlements.

These days we like to use the Delaware River for a more recreational purpose. Boats are still found on the river to transport goods to and from towns as well as people. There are multiple stops along the river that can be used to see some of the most beautiful scenes of nature. Since the river flows so close to mountains a visitor will be able to see all sorts of wildlife. Keeping it clean and the animals safe is still a top priority. The Delaware River has always been home to a multitude of animals that thrive on its ecosystem.

When planning a visit to a place that is teeming with history and beauty, it would only be natural to want to keep that theme going in terms of where to stay. A few miles away from the Delaware River is Hawley, PA and Ledges Hotel. The hotel paid close attention to history and beauty when designing Ledges. Located in the Hawley Silk Mill, they kept the history and enhanced it with modern touches. While staying there, make sure you grab a drink and catch the sunset on one of their decks that overlook the river gorge falls. The hotel has a room for any group size as well as budget. Contact them today to book a historic weekend in the Pocono Mountains.

Photo by: Delaware Riverkeeper Network