Canal Day marks opening

| 29 Sep 2011 | 03:26

    Events will highlight heritage of Morris Canal Stanhope — Waterloo Village will come to life as it opens for the first time this year for the 14th Annual Canal Day on Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Rain date: June 28.) The one-day event, which is co-sponsored by the Canal Society of New Jersey and the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry, is free to the public. Many attractions will highlight the heritage of the Morris Canal, which gave birth to the historic canal town of Waterloo. Mule-pulled boat rides will take the public on canal. Canal boat captain John Hummel, portrayed by historian Richard Pawling, will tell about life laboring on the canal, and play music of the 1870s. Tours of the village and canal sites will be offered throughout the day. In addition to tours focusing on the history of the village, other tours will focus on the architecture of the antique buildings. The Waterloo United Methodist Church will offer guided tours of its historic building, which is 150 years old this year. In addition, church members will be selling lunch and snack foods throughout the day as a fundraiser. Civil War reenactment group invites visitors to see camp The 27th New Jersey Regiment, a Civil War reenactment group, will be camping at Waterloo Village during the event. The public is invited to visit their camp, and watch them drill. For the first time since 2006, the historic Smith Store, which is one of the best-preserved canal-era stores, will be open. The Rutan Cabin, which dates from the 1820s, will also be open for the first time since then. The Canal Museum will be open for public visits, as well. Books, maps, postcards, T-shirts, and toys will be offered for sale. In addition, there will also be an exhibit about the rich railroad and iron heritage of Waterloo. A village blacksmith will be demonstrating what was once a vital service in front of the Blacksmith Shop. Nearby, children will be able to play with the wooden toys and hoops of the past within sight of the canal. Local historical societies from towns along the route of the canal will have displays, as well. Also, a photo contest will be held that day. Amateur photographers are invited to bring their photos of canals in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or of Waterloo Village, for judging at 3:30 p.m. Photos will be returned in the afternoon. Waterloo Village is located at 525 Waterloo Road in Stanhope. It is accessible from Routes 80, 206 and 46. For more information, call 908-832-2888, or visit www.canalsocietynjorg.