Frick's Lock

Today several of us went on a tour of the "ghost town" of Frick's Lock, which was abandoned due to the construction of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. When I was in private school, I could see the towers of the plant being built from one of the windows in my dormitory. The town itself is not known for being "haunted," and it does not have that sort of feel to it at all. It does. however contain elements Deitsch history from the construction of the first home by a Swiss immigrant in 1757 into the modern era. That first house was built with Swiss banked architecture and was constructed right on a spring of the Schuylkill River so that water was attainable simply by stepping outside.

1757 House constructed by Grumbacher -
note that vandals broke the downstairs window.

The town eventually developed into a port on the Schuylkill Canal, which was a major economic artery for the transmission of coal from the north to Philadelphia and of food goods throughout the region. Echoes of the various canals, particularly the Schuylkill, are heard throughout the Deitscherei even into today. The town had a store right along the canal that operated 24/7. The tour operator called it "the Wawa of its day." It also had a very busy barn where mules and horses and other portions of the canal operations were housed.

The Wawa of its day

The barn is said to have a lot of "German" (very likely actually Deitsch) "graffiti" on the walls. This aspect has piqued my interest as other barns, mills, etc., are where runic symbols and other things of interest to Urglaawe have turned up in the past. Unfortunately, the current owner, Exelon (the major electricity supplier in the Delaware Valley) does not permit anyone to enter the barn building, so it is out of bounds for us. I am hoping that this ban may someday be reversed.

The Barn
The railroad eventually came to nearby Parkerford, thus beginning the end of the canal era, but Frick's Lock was still part of the region's fabric until the power plant was constructed and most of the town fell into its exclusionary zone. It seems a few of the houses that remain and that are outside of the exclusionary zone may eventually be rehabilitated into a visitors center or put to use for other purposes.

That which killed Frick's Lock

No comments:

Post a Comment