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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Seneca in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Seneca Aqueduct

 
 
The Seneca Aqueduct Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
1. The Seneca Aqueduct Marker
Inscription. Canal engineers build aqueducts to bridge canal boats over rivers and large stream such as Seneca Creek. Eleven aqueducts were needed between here and the canalís western terminus at Cumberland, Maryland; all required skilled quarrymen and stonemasons, and large outlays of scarce capital.

Seneca Aqueduct opened to traffic in 1833, and along with through-boats from the west, carried a substantial local traffic in lime, grain, fertilizer and sandstone to and from farms and industries around Seneca. Made of red sandstone from nearby bluffs, it has long been one of the most admired canal structures.

Freshets and flooding on Seneca Creek have always caused problems, and finally in September, 1971, almost 50 years after the canal closed, a violent local flood swept away one of the arches.

The last locktender at Seneca was Johnny Riley, whose former lock and lockhouse are at the east end of the aqueduct. “I donít care what hour of the night it was,” recalled a former boatman, “any hour of the night you boat to his lock and holler . . . there was his lantern waving you ahead.”
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
 
Location. 39° 4.132′ N, 77° 
The Seneca Aqueduct Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
2. The Seneca Aqueduct Marker
20.453′ W. Marker is near Seneca, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Rileys Lock Road south of River Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Poolesville MD 20837, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rowserís Ford (here, next to this marker); Seneca (a few steps from this marker); Watering the Canal (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Seneca (approx. 0.7 miles away); Seneca Store (approx. ĺ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Seneca.
 
More about this marker. Marker is opposite the towpath overlooking the aqueduct's canal bed.
 
Regarding The Seneca Aqueduct. This is the only place on the canal where the lock (Lock 24) and the aqueduct were built as one structure. The lock is just downstream from the aqueduct.
 
Additional keywords. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, C&O Canal
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWaterways & Vessels
 
The Seneca Aqueduct at the Mouth of Seneca Creek image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
3. The Seneca Aqueduct at the Mouth of Seneca Creek
Two of the three arches remain. An improvised bridge seen in the distance, continues the towpath, now a hiking and bike path, across the missing span. Lock 24, Riley's Lock, is out of frame on the right. The Potomac River is out of frame to the left.
Carved Fencepost image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
4. Carved Fencepost
Seneca Creek joins the Potomac River in the background. The aqueduct is on the right. Names have been carved on the sandstone fencepost.
Lock 24 image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
5. Lock 24
Riley's lock is dry now. The lockhouse is on the left behind the white picket fence.
The Seneca Aqueduct image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 4, 2016
6. The Seneca Aqueduct
Riley's Lockhouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 4, 2016
7. Riley's Lockhouse
Riley's Lockhouse image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
8. Riley's Lockhouse
Photographer is on the towpath across the lock from the lockhouse.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,488 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   8. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 9, 2016.
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