Spanning The Gap In 1870 the New Jersey Midland Railway was organized, connecting with the Sussex Mine Railroad and with various trade centers in Sussex and Warren counties. The rail line gained access to the Hudson River, and a year later was running from Weehawken NJ through the Paulins Kill Valley to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, by way of the New Jersey side of the Water Gap. Soon it was renamed the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad. Unlike more powerful rail lines, which crossed the Delaware downstream near Portland PA, the NYS&W crossed the Delaware here, at LaBar Island just north of the Gap, on a truss bridge built around 1882. In doing so, it offered small communities along the New Jersey side of the river, such as Columbia and Dunnfield, a chance to participate in the growing tourist trade centered in the more-famous Pennsylvania village of Delaware Water Gap. NYS&W "mixed" trains carried both passengers and freight, and small flag stops provided boat service to riverbank hotels. Some stations were typical of period railroad architecture; others now seem more like local sheds pressed into service for passengers. 3 The NYS&W bridge to Pennsylvania may have had some problems—trains crossing it were limited to 10 m.p.h. — but it was on the job until 1940, when the financially strapped railroad abandoned the bridge and discontinued service to Stroudsburg. Soon after, the truss structure was removed. The stone piers remain today as reminders of an era of trade and tourism that has passed. Karamac Trail bears the name of a river resort that was built here around 1880, and named Karamac in 1920. In the 1800’s there were a string of small communities along the New Jersey side of the Water Gap, served by the New York, Susquehanna & Western line across New Jersey, which crossed the Delaware here beginning in 1881. Some villages, like the slate "company town" of Browning, had sprung up for industry. Other enterprises grew with the tourist trade spreading from the town of Delaware Water Gap PA. Still other place names had already come and gone. Fairview House, a hotel built here in 1880, was in an area once known as Brotzmanville. It overlooked the NYS&W rail bridge, whose stone piers remain today. Fairview House offered ferry service across the river from Pennsylvania for guests arriving on rail lines that crossed the Delaware further downstream. In 1920, under new (Continued on page 4)

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