A few hundred feet east of Jacob Rickenbach's stone house, just behind Curtin Rickenbach's home, the small creek flows through a meadow and actually undercuts the canal bed by means of a perfectly preserved and very pretty culvert, shown below. The stone culvert was built probably before 1820 by the Schuylkill Navigation Company at the time the canal was built, to allow the creek to pass under the canal bed.

This drawing(from the collection of Schuylkill Navigation information at Reading Area Community College) , from a survey in 1878, shows the dimensions of the culvert. At the time the culvert had a wooden retaining barrier, now absent.

The photograph below shows the culvert today. The view is to the west (toward the houses mentioned above), and the canal runs from right to left over the culvert.

The creek continues another 30 feet behind where the above photo was taken, and enters the Schuylkill River (below).

The view below shows where the creek enters the culvert on the west side of the canal, with Curtin Rickenbach's house in the background. In times of flood, the culvert actually caused the creek to back up and flood the meadow seen below, often flooding the basement of the house.


Photographs by Tom Rickenbach, Oct. 2001