In the Museum

History Talk: Tocks Island

On June 22 the Dutot Museum will host its first history talk of 2023! Author David Pierce will present a talk discussing his new book, Tocks Island: Dammed If You Do, highlighting the battle against the highly controversial planned Army Corps of Engineers dam project that changed the Delaware Water Gap region forever.

David C. Pierce is a retired award-winning journalist who has written extensively on the legacy of the ill-fated Tocks Island dam and the creation of the Delaware Water Cap National Recreation Area.

The contentious, convoluted, sometimes bizarre, and often heart-wrenching story of Tocks Island has always fascinated him. He embarked on a journey to sort out conflicting accounts of what had happened, why the controversy unfolded over so many years, and how a local anti-dam movement convinced the federal government and the four basin states to ultimately cancel the project.

For this book, Pierce interviewed people who lost their homes and businesses to forced government acquisition, reviewed decades of contemporary newspaper and magazine stories, and researched libraries, state and national archives, historical societies, and local government property records and reports. Along the way, Pierce tracked down long-lost federal court documents and deed transfers at the National Archives that were never recorded in the counties where the property acquisitions took place.

This one-hour presentation will be held at the Dutot Museum on Thursday, June 22, at 7:00pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Please send an email to let us know you will be attending.

Come out to learn more about this history that still resonates on both sides of the Delaware River today.