The history of the settlement of the Delaware Valley starts not at the beginning of the river, but at its end. It was the original Route 1 – a highway that brought modern civilization to a pristine wilderness. We’ll talk about the earliest explorers and how they interacted with the native population, and make our way upriver from the Delaware Bay and it’s legendary oyster industry, to the ornate Victorian era lighthouses, historic military sites like Fort Delaware on Peapatch Island, Red Bank Battlefield and Fort Mifflin, the industrial giant that was Camden, the first steamboat in the country, the commercial hubs of Burlington and Bordentown with their illustrious residents, the extraordinary triumph of Washington at “Trent Town”, the growth of the canals during the industrial revolution, and many more fascinating places and events as we make our way northward, finally ending our journey in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
Hal Taylor has been a graphic artist for over 30 years, spending much of the last four researching, writing and creating artwork for his first book, “The Illustrated Delaware River: The History of a Great American River.” It’s a lovingly told travelogue that traces the entire length of the Delaware through 400 plus years of history, filled with 140 orginal illustrations. Updates, links and events are always available on the book’s FaceBook page: www.facebook.com/illustrateddelawareriver/ Hal began his career as a typographer, which led to original hand lettering and logo design, as well as a stint teaching graphic design at Drexel University in Philadelphia. In the process, he created a library of over seven different original type designs which are available at a variety of online sources including fonts.com and myfonts.com. Always considering lettering as a form of illustration, it was a logical transition to explore the field, which resulted in designing and illustrating over one hundred books for Townsend Press, a nationally recognized publisher of academic material and classic literature. His work has also been displayed at the prestigious Philadelphia Sketch Club, the oldest artist’s club in the Western Hemisphere. Incorporating a love of history, his latest projects are writing and illustrating two more books about the colorful and fascinating people, places, and past of the Delaware Valley. Hal makes his home in historic New Jersey.