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Brookmont in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Canal Home
 
A Canal Home Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
1. A Canal Home Marker
 
Inscription. “When I was 7, we moved [to the] lock, and we were very happy. My mother was so happy to have a home; she was just about wild. And we did love it here, as a locktender, you know?” —Lavenia Cross Waskey

The canal company supplied locktenders with a house next to the lock which enabled them to work the lock day and night. The house provided more than a roof over their heads: it was a stable home for their families. For children, used to the transient canal boat life, a permanent home meant a chance to attend school and make lasting friends.

In addition to the house, locktenders received a small monthly salary and an acre of land. The low pay meant that locktenders had to supplement their incomes. A garden plot helped put food on the table and any excess produce could be traded with boatmen for coal and other necessities. Women baked bread or pies for trade. Children contributed by helping in the garden at the lock, as well as by fishing or hunting muskrats for the canal company’s bounty reward.
 
Erected by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
C&O Canal Locktender's House at Lock 6 Photo, Click for full size
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
2. C&O Canal Locktender's House at Lock 6
This is the view from the parking lot. The canal and lock are behind the trees to the left. The stone-lined bypass flume that passes hard by the house on the right can be seen in the foreground. Dirt path on right leads to a footbridge across the flume. A plank over the flume (foreground) makes for a shorter, if more precarious, route to the house. A sharp eye will notice the 21st century heat pump compressor next to the basement door of this 19th century house.
 

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
 
Location. 38° 56.693′ N, 77° 7.44′ W. Marker is in Brookmont, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Clara Barton Parkway (southbound only) south of the Glen Echo Exit. Click for map. Marker is on the C&O Canal towpath at Lock 6, milemarker 5.4. Marker is in this post office area: Bethesda MD 20816, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Auxiliary Battery (approx. 0.7 miles away in Virginia); Fort Marcy (approx. ¾ mile away in Virginia); Fort Marcy, Virginia (approx. ¾ mile away in Virginia); Fort Sumner (approx. 0.8 miles away); Col. Guilford Dudley Bailey (approx. 0.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. A small parking area on the Clara Barton Parkway is signed for Lock 6. There is no cut in the median, so if you are driving outbound (north from Washington) you will have to continue past to the Glen Echo exit to turn around so you can reach the parking lot.
 
Regarding A Canal Home. This house is one of the few that is still occupied.
 
C&O Canal Locktender's House at Lock 6 Photo, Click for full size
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
3. C&O Canal Locktender's House at Lock 6
This view is from the towpath showing the footbridge across the lock. Because of the footbridge, the canal is not navigable at this point, although the upstream lockgate is doing its job of holding back the water.
 
 
C&O Canal Lock 6 Photo, Click for full size
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
4. C&O Canal Lock 6
This view from the footbrige shows Lock 6 braced with wood beams.
 
 
Boats similar to this were pulled through the locks and along the canal Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, October 1985
5. Boats similar to this were pulled through the locks and along the canal
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on December 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,820 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   5. submitted on January 24, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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