Lock Me Up


   For such a tiny footprint, the Leesport Lockhouse delivers a roomy result. You will find the kitchen warm today at the restored stone house, formerly a canal tender’s home, for its annual Holiday open house. Cider and fresh baked cookies are being served.

  The free event also provides the opportunity to buy splendid wreaths at totally reasonable prices, baked goods (brownies 50 cents) and crafts to help support the lock house, which is one of Berks county’s treasures. We couldn’t help but think they should sell the floor plan, for the width and depth of the rooms, and the placement of windows – perfect lighting – and the fireplaces – hearths are for the heart – are harmonious, simple and beautiful, an example of how design (form) not only follows but also facilitates function.

   Visiting the museum is a pleasure, too, with old photographs and maps of the territory, when the Schuylkill canal, the river and railroads held some of the keys to men’s fortunes. The nexus was vital to the trade and development of the county in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

   We had stayed away from the Tulpehocken creek this morning in favor of spending time along the Schuylkill this afternoon. There was one heron in this museum. It came in the form of a picture of a Great Blue Heron (which was indeed blue) from an art show of bird paintings, in the 1980’s, discovered in a photo album on display.

   We enjoyed the black and white photographs of the working staff – mostly women – at the knitting mill in nearby Mohrsville, taken in the 1950’s and 60’s.

   The faces of the workers, captured in that moment of time, show both confidence and happiness. You might notice the front three rows are all women wearing skirts and tops and the rows they make are neat and tidy. Toward the back rows, men predominate. You realize that building, like the canal, isn’t even there anymore.

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