Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ghosts of Fricks Locks

Once upon a time
back when George Washington was fighting the British
there was a young woman, Miss Crumbaker,
who fell in love with a young visionary, Mr. Frick.

Porch Reflections

The two were married and
Mr. Frick saw opportunity
in the land his wife inherited from her father.
His vision: to bring a canal system through their property.

Boxwood Lodge

That would kind-of be like wanting
a major roadway running through your property.
But this was a money-making venture.
Tolls were collected for the
transport of coal and iron through the canal locks.

The Barn 

Soon an idyllic but busy village grew around
what was now call Fricks Locks.
As technology changed
so did Fricks Locks.
After years of success the canals
were replaced by railroads as a means of transportation.
But the residents of Fricks Locks
loved their village and stayed on.
They lived in a forgotten paradise.

John Frick's House

Technology soon changed things again.
This time, a nuclear power plant entered the scene.
The residents of Fricks Locks had to move out of their beloved village
as their homes were in the exclusion zone around the power plant.

Canal Store and Limerick Power Station 

Their village became an abandoned modern day ghost town
attracting vandals to the decaying structures.
But that is not the end of the Fricks Locks story.
Excelon, the power company that owns Fricks Locks
has invested 2.5 million in restoration of the historical village.
Today, you can tour the restored village
with volunteer guides from East Coventry Township.

Burned Out Locktender's House 

"An agreement between Exelon Generation Company, LLC, and the Township, allows the Village to be opened for escorted public access. Exelon completed the rehabilitation or stabilization of the buildings within the Village and the Township Historical Commission is helping people re-discover the local heritage that began nearly two centuries ago by providing educational guided tours." 

More Work to be Done 

500 Lower Fricks Lock Road 
Pottstown, PA 19465 
East Coventry Twp.: (610) 495-5443 

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown.
Ghost Town by Jerry Dammers  

The Party's Here! Where I am linking these days.

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All images by Rebecca Haegele have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Click on any image to go to its gallery for purchasing information.


MadSnapper said...

I love a story with a happy ending and this one does. so glad they are restoring and sharing it with the public. every house i lived in from age 8 to 19, 4 of them, have been torn down and roads built in their place. 2 in KY and 2 in Savannah.

Tom said...

More and more places are becoming ghost towns.

Nancy said...

I bet it was a beautiful little town in its day even with Fricks Locks located so close by. The abandoned houses looked like they were once very beautiful...I think it's wonderful that people can see this part of history that almost disappeared....

Laurie said...

I hate to see history decay and fall away. I'm glad to hear that Frick's Locks is being restored. Great pictures!

Tamar SB said...

You explore the most amazing places!

Molly said...

I can't believe this. 2 years ago I tried to get into Frick's Lock to take picture but it was surrounded by cameras and security fences and so we gave up. I can't believe that this summer, when we were back in Philly we missed that you can now get in and see it. What a shame. Thank you for sharing though, next time we go back we shall be sure to go and visit this amazing place


Unknown said...

Amazing pictures and great history lesson!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I have missed your wonderful tours of buildings. This place looks great and a building photographer's paradise, so glad it is being restored and that there are tours.

Kmcblackburn said...

Oh Lordy....not sure which is worse...nuclear reactors in your backyard OR being called "Mrs. Crumbaker Frick"! I never heard of this place Becky, what a great find! Thanks for sharing at Song-ography.

EG CameraGirl said...

Oh, this story has a happy ending for photographers!

Ida said...

You really made the history of this place come alive in your photos. I loved it.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photographs!

Kathy said...

You do such good work on your shots of these old places. Can I come to Pennsylvania when you start giving lessons?

betty-NZ said...

Oh, I do love a happy ending! How marvelous! I can't wait to see photos.