Upper Providence Township History

Schuylkill Canal’s Lock No. 60

One of the township’s best historical treasures, the Schuylkill Canal’s Lock No. 60, reopened in 2005 in original working condition after a 10-year restoration project.


The restoration project, paid for with more than $1 million in federal transportation grants, included improvements to the forebay and guard wall and the lock’s sluice gates, miter gates, and truss bridge. The lock tender’s house was restored and transformed into the Schuylkill Canal Association’s (SCA) headquarters.


Built in 1846, the lock connects the canal to a forebay, so that boats can access the river. In the 19th century, a lock tender operated the gates and maintained the correct level of water flow to “lock through” barges and boats.


Schuylkill Canal Park boasts a 2.5-mile waterway and nearly 5 miles of towpath and trails in the undeveloped greenway between the canal and the river. Learn more about Lock No. 60 and the history of the canal on the Schuylkill Canal Association’s Web site.


Grants for Preservation

The township participates in many preservation studies and applies for various state and federal grants to secure and protect open space and historical areas. Our successes include:

  • Lock No. 60 restoration
  • Black Rock Park expansion
  • Anderson Farm Park development
  • Hundreds of acres preserved

Historical Attractions

  • Black Rock Dam: A stone-filled timber crib structure surrounding a 3-mile dam pool that fishermen, boaters, and water skiers can all enjoy
  • Lock No. 60: The restored lock, originally built in 1846, allowed boats to safely travel from a shallower portion of the Schuylkill Canal.
  • The Lock House: Adjacent to Lock No. 60, the Lock House was once the home of a lock tender, whose job it was to monitor the waterway and open and close the lock for passing boats.
  • Friends Meeting House: Located on Black Rock Road, this Quaker church dates back to 1740.
  • Far Away Farm: This land was purchased by William Penn’s sons; Henry Ewalt built a house on the land in 1761.
  • Mont Clarer: Meaning “Clear Mountain,” this house dates back to the mid-1800s and overlooks the river.
  • Broadview: A Victorian home with a view of the Schuylkill River

Township Police Quick Links

Township Offices
1286 Black Rock Road
PO Box 406
Oaks, PA 19456
Fax: 610-983-0355


Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Upper Providence Police
1286 Black Rock Road
PO Box 406
Oaks, PA 19456
Emergencies 911
Administrative Questions


Police Office Hours:
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m


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