THE DELAWARE RIVER
Up until the mid-19th-Century, the business activity of Belvidere depended in great measure on the presence, of the Delaware River, which offered possibilities of power and communication, and the Pequest Creek, which furnished power to run nearly all of Belvidere’s industries. For many years Belvidere was the shipping point to Philadelphia and Trenton for Oxford Furnace. The iron was carried on the famous Durham boats. These were flat-bottomed affairs with a prow at either end. They floated with their load down stream, and were poled all the way back, lightly loaded, largely with sugar and molasses. A disastrous effort was made by Belvidere interests in 1860 to run a line of steamers on the river, but when the first steamer, the “Alfred Thomas,” on its maiden trip blew up after travelling less than one mile from Easton, where it was built, the project was dropped, never to be renewed. The explosion killed twelve persons, among them two of the three owners,- Judge William R. Sharp and Richard Holcomb.