Help NPS figure out what to do with historic properties emptied by the Tocks Island Dam project

IF YOU LIVE NEAR the Delaware River, you'll know about one of the most contentious projects ever planned for the river: the Tocks Island Dam, which would have been the largest dam east of the Mississippi. The nascent environmental movement and strong local opposition put an end to the plans, but not before hundreds of properties were taken in eminent domain actions by the federal government. As plans for the dam were shelved, the National Parks Service was left as the "owner" of these properties.

For 50 years most of those properties have been empty and falling into disrepair. Now the NPS is looking to formulate a plan for those properties, with funding from, as the parks service press release states "Mitigation measures intended to compensate for adverse effects to cultural resources in the park from the construction and operation of the Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line."

The parks service is interested in sharing the information it has already gathered on the properties and in hearing what the public would like done with them. See a short film about the project here and watch a slide show here.

The schedule for the informational open house meetings is as follows:

January 28; 6-8 p.m. 
Sussex County Technical School
105 North Church Road
Sparta, NJ 07871

January 29; 1-3 p.m. 
East Stroudsburg University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
562 Independence Road (Off Route 447)
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301

January 29, 6-8 p.m. 
Delaware Valley High School
256 Routes 6 and 209
Milford, PA 18337

January 30, 10 a.m.-noon
NPS Bushkill Meeting Center
Route 209
Bushkill, PA 18324

About Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.


  1. Stephen Scarsella on November 3, 2021 at 1:50 am

    Our family lived by the Delaware River in Bushkill, Pa. We were a family of eight children, with our Mother and Grandmother. My Mom was forced out of the two story house my Father literally built himself!

  2. Stephen Scarsella on November 3, 2021 at 1:54 am

    Our Mother was only paid 32 cents on the actual dollar value of the house by the Government, using the “Eminent Domain” rule! Is there anything we can do now since the dam was never built?!

    • Meg McGuire on November 3, 2021 at 6:25 am

      So many people were forced out of their homes for that never-built dam, causing a lot of resentment. As far as I know, no one has ever “re-opened” the issue of how much people were paid for their houses.

Leave a Comment