Geocache Identification Permit Approval Number: AMSP20191028171
Permit Expires on:10/28/22
The Morris Canal series of caches are placed along the canal towpath in partnership with the Waterloo Village Historic Site and the Canal Society of New Jersey to showcase the important early transportation across New Jersey. The Morris Canal connected the Delaware and Hudson Rivers and facilitated development of cities and industry in New York and New Jersey.
Lock 5 West at Saxton Falls was filled in by the state as part of the process of dismantling the canal in the 1920s. The adjacent section of the canal bed was flooded and for decades was used for swimming. This stretch of the canal was almost lost when a reservoir to supply Hackettstown with drinking water was proposed. When core borings were done, however, engineers determined there was no solid base for more than 100 feet and the river was unsuitable for a reservoir.
Some of the workers who built the Morris Canal lived in modest cabins near Saxton Falls. Later, Bayonne residents summered in the area. There were probably about 100 bungalows along the river which were taken over by the state, although many residents were given life rights to live in them. A few of the houses are still standing along Waterloo Road and on the private lanes that branch off the county road in the area of the Saxton Falls dam.
Morris Canal Bungalow
The Lock Tender’s house, also known as the Mahler House, but was familiarly called Elsie’s after the tavern that occupied it for many years. The tavern still functioned in the early 1980s, but by the early 1990s, a nephew of the former owner took over. He ended up in prison and the property was put up for sale.
Lock Tender's House (aka. Elsie's Tavern)