The Newark City Subway

The Morris Canal was built in 1825-31 and linked the coal fields of Pennsylvania to the markets of New York and New Jersey. Up to 70 tons of fuel could be brought to the eastern seaboard in a canal boat powered by a couple mules.  Transit time: five days.  Initial construction ran from Phillipsburg to Newark, with Lake Hopatcong feeding the locks and powering the inclined planes.  This photo was taken just south of Orange Street, where barges were portaged over the tracks of the Newark streetcars and DL&W Railroad.  That building in the distance on the right is the old Barringer High School.

A later photo of the same spot shows the Tung-Sol factory.  To the right is the area that would become Boys' Park.  The photo below shows the same area after the railroads put the canal out of business. 


The canal was abandoned in 1924 and mostly drained.  It became a mosquito-infested eyesore, and under pressure to do something about it the City of Newark, coincidentally seeking to further ease downtown congestion and speed commuters' trips to the suburbs, struck a deal with Public Service Corporation to operate a city subway line.  In 1929 the city bought its length of the forlorn conduit and began to dig.

Onward to Part 5