You are looking at a replica of a lock-house façade that was salvaged from the National Canal Museum, Easton by Muncy Historical Society volunteers in January 2012. Dismantled and brought to Muncy, the sections were reconstructed on this site in 2015. The original house that belonged to this lock stood nearby, abandoned for many years before it was razed in the early 1900s.
At the side of each lock about a half acre of ground was set aside on which to build a lock-house. These were generally rent-free homes, making attractive housing since the lock-tender's pay seldom rose above $20 a month ($540 in 2015 dollars)[.] These wages compared favorably to those of other unskilled laborers of that time. The lock-tenders lived busy lives, focused on the daily passing of canal boats up and down the canal.
Lock-tenders assisted the boatmen in safety traversing the locks through day and night, if necessary, and also were responsible to maintain the lock and the level stretch of canal below the lock. The lock-tender was "on duty" 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He could not wander beyond hailing distance of the lock and most certainly could not take any time off during the entire boating season.
Most cargo boats traveled on week days only and lay up at least part of each night, while passenger packets could arrive at any hour,
day or night. These boats signaled the lock-tender that they were nearing the canal entrance by blowing into a conch shell or a tin horn.
To supplement his meager wage the lock-tender set a fish line and/or gardened, selling off any excess fish or produce to the boatmen. His wife might bake bread or pies and the children might hawk the fresh water that they pulled from the well.
[Photo captions read]
· Volunteers, at left, helped reconstruct the Lock-tender's house.
· Canal boats signaled the lock-tender that they were nearing the canal [sic - lock] entrance by blowing into a conch shell or a tin horn, like the ones at right.
The "Crossroads Quilt Pattern" is on the Muncy Historical Society's Heritage Quilt Trail. It represents one of the few places in Lycoming County where all the major forms of transportation came together... the river, Indian path, canal, roadway and railroad.