By Pam Teel
Although the river and canal continue on toward Easton, PA, Riegelsville is the last stop in Bucks County. It’s here you will find the most unique of bridges crossing over the river. It is one of the few remaining multi-span highway suspension bridges with continuous cables around. The bridge was built in 1904 and designed by John A. Roebling and Sons of Trenton. The Roebling’s also designed the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges and the aqueduct at Lackawaxen where the Delaware and Hudson Canal crosses the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Riegelsville has easy access ramps for paddlers and canoer’s and many bike paths. The village is registered as a National Historic District. It has a collection of both residential and commercial buildings, since it was at one time a busy manufacturing town. In the 1830’s it was one of the largest industrial manufacturing centers in America with easy access throughout the counties through use of the canals and later through use of the railroads. It was founded by Benjamin Reigel, whose family established a paper mill company close to the town. Reigel built an Inn for travelers visiting the area. The Inn is still in operation today, over one hundred and sixty years later. You can still see the impressive mansions that were built by wealthy local industrialists, mostly executives of the Paper Company. Many have been recently restored. You will also find The Reigel Tavern. It’s a great place to stop and get a beer and a burger or a five-course dinner.
The town is said to be haunted in many different areas from the graveyards, to the old homesteads and Inns. It was once an Indian settlement of the Pechoqueolin tribe before the building began. It was said to be sacred Shamanic grounds where the Indians would come to have their souls cleansed. Riegelsville was built upon burial grounds and the bones of these people. If you like to learn more about the hauntings that go on there, there are two books available on kindle: Ghosts in the Ville by Jeffrey Wargo and More Ghosts in the Ville. Both interesting to read. You can also join the yearly ghost walk around Halloween.
Places around Riegelsville that are of interest include the Durham Historic District, where you can get information about the Durham furnace and Iron works and the history of the early settlers to that area. The Erwin Stover House, an 1800 Federal style home built by The Erwin Family, which is now used as a welcome center for the Tinicum Township Region of the Route 113 Heritage Tour. The nearby village of Erwinna is named after the family.
The Erwinna Historic District includes Erwinna Village and other historic resources located on the river. Also nearby is the 5, 283 acre Nockamixon State Park that surrounds a rather large lake and the Sand Castle Winery, which is a 72 acre estate with a 17 mile view of the Delaware River. A great place to stop in and pick up some bottles to go!
In this upper portion of the Delaware, there are three bridges that you can cross over to get back to the New Jersey side. From Reigelsville, you can take the three span bridge across. Follow route 627, to route 619, to Milford-Frenchtown Road. You can also head back to the Upper Black Eddy area via route 32 and cross over to Milford NJ, or continue south on route 32 until you get to the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge. After crossing, it will dump you out into the heart of Frenchtown’s Main Street. Join us again next month as we explore the wonders
of Frenchtown, NJ!
Photo: Reigelsville Bridge designed by J. Roebling & Sons in Trenton, NJ