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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historical Markers

Markers associated with the canal from Washington, DC, to Cumberland, Maryland, now a national park.
 
A Canal to the West - Tide Lock Marker (Panel 1) image, Click for more information
By Richard E. Miller, February 12, 2011
A Canal to the West - Tide Lock Marker (Panel 1)
District of Columbia (Washington), Foggy Bottom — A Canal to the West - Tide Lock
[Panel 1:] A Canal to the West For years it was a dream – a canal to open a trade route from local commercial centers to the rich Ohio country across the Allegheny Mountains. Business would thrive as mule-drawn barges carried . . . — Map (db m46939) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — An Industrial Georgetown
If you could have walked along the towpath here in the 19th and early 20th century, your senses would have been overwhelmed by industrial pollution. The dust from coal being unloaded from canal boats fogged the air. The stench of animal fat being . . . — Map (db m82653) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — At All Hours
“It shall be their duty, at all hours, by night as well as by day, to pass all boats and floats presenting themselves at their locks.” —Charles Mercer, President, C&O Canal Company. Every time his boat passed through a lock, a . . . — Map (db m128) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — Chesapeake and Ohio CanalNational Historical Marker
One of the best preserved and least altered of old American canals, the Chesapeake and Ohio grew from Washington's vision of linking the valleys of the early west with the east by “ties of communication,” The Potomac Company fostered by . . . — Map (db m97477) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — Creating a National Park
“It is a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet and peace at the Capital's back door . . .” —William O. Douglas Look around you. The park you stand in exists because people cared. In January 1954, Justice William O. . . . — Map (db m129) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — Francis Scott Key Park
A Place With Its Own History. Before 1620 the area of the Francis Scott Key Park was inhabited by members of the Algonquian, Nacostine, Nacotchatank, Piscatoway and Patawomeke tribes. In 1634 it became part of the English Colony of . . . — Map (db m119) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — Georgetown and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
Left panel: Georgetown became a port city soon after its 1751 founding. Located on the Potomac River, it was the logical choice for the canal’s terminus. Canal activity further spurred Georgetown’s economic growth. By the late 1800s, it was . . . — Map (db m97762) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Palisades — Abner Cloud House
This house witnessed the building of the C&O Canal. Abner Cloud, a miller who had come here from Pennsylvania, built the house in 1801. Cloud's mill was about 200 yards upstream. The basement of the house was used by Cloud to store grain and flour, . . . — Map (db m722) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), The National Mall — Lock Keeper’s House
Formerly the eastern terminal of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Erected about 1835. The canal passed along the present line of B Street in front of this house emptying into Tiber Creek and the Potomac River. — Map (db m209) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), The National Mall — The Canal Connection
President George Washington commissioned Pierre L'Enfant to design the Capital City in 1790. The L'Enfant Plan included a system of canals to transport heavy goods at a time when roads and streets were few and muddy. The Washington City Canal . . . — Map (db m211) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Alteration of the Site — Fort Cumberland Trail
Many changes have been made to the landscape on which Fort Cumberland stood. The street behind you was cut from the hillside and the earth removed used by the canal company. the bluff to your left in front of the church once extended on a nearly . . . — Map (db m18757) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Boat Building at the Cumberland Basin
Cumberland, the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, was the location where the George's Creek coal from western Allegany County was transferred from the short line railroads to canal boats for shipment east. Cumberland was also the . . . — Map (db m67484) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Civil War in Allegany CountyStrategic Location
During the Civil War, thousands of United States soldiers were stationed here in Cumberland and Allegany County to guard against raids and incursions by Confederate forces. Located only about 130 miles from the capital at Washington. . . . — Map (db m1049) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — CumberlandStrategic Center
In 1860, Cumberland was a small town of 7,302 residents, most of whom lived in the valley of Will’s Creek. The town was an important stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. When the Civil . . . — Map (db m14038) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — CumberlandStrategic Center
In 1860, Cumberland was a small town of 7,302 residents, most of whom lived in the valley of Will’s Creek. The town was an important stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. When the Civil . . . — Map (db m17674) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Cumberland Gateway Westward — Fort Cumberland Trail
Will's Creek Settlement, later known as Cumberland, served as a major gateway for trade, military campaigns against the French, and settlement beyond the mountains in our growing nation. "The New Storehouses" of the Ohio Company were across the . . . — Map (db m17783) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today
Independence Day, July 4th, 1828, would be an important day for Cumberland, Maryland. On that day, far to the east, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad both broke ground. The finish line of these companies' race was the . . . — Map (db m67478) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Life on the Canal
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal ran from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. (Mile 0) to Cumberland, MD (Mile 184.5), paralleling the Potomac River. Most of the heavy shipping originated from the western terminus at Cumberland. Boatmen carrying coal, . . . — Map (db m67482) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — McNeill’s RaidCapture of Crook and Kelly
In the predawn darkness of February 21, 1865, Confederate Lt. Jesse McNeill and his partisan (guerrilla) rangers rode into Cumberland from the west on this road. Unlike most raiders who targeted the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for attack, McNeill . . . — Map (db m716) HM
Maryland (Allegany County), Keifers — Breaking Through a Mountain
The Paw Paw Tunnel stands as a monument to the ability and daring of 19th century canal builders. By building the mile-long cut through the mountain, including the 3,118-foot tunnel, the canal avoided six miles of river bends and steep, rocky . . . — Map (db m25098) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Brunswick — Aqueduct Stones
Because so many aqueduct stones were lost over the years, replacement stones were needed for the restoration in 2010-11. Beside this panel are an original stone and a new stone to be seen and touched. Note the tooled finish on the stone . . . — Map (db m101015) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Brunswick — Berlin
First called Berlin, later Barry, and finally named Brunswick in 1890, the town's fortunes fluctuated with the times. The canal was built here in 1834 and a large gristmill, powered by canal water, was built on the canal across from the towpath. . . . — Map (db m4333) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Brunswick — BrunswickFormerly Berlin — Gettysburg Campaign
Union troops pursuing the Confederate army to Virginia after the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 crossed the Potomac River here. Called Berlin at the time of the Civil War, this town truly experienced the challenges of life on the border. Both the . . . — Map (db m1863) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Brunswick — One Time RivalsB&O Railroad and C&O Canal
The Brunswick Railroad Museum and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park Visitor Center exist side by side today, just as the transportation modes did when first arriving here in 1834. However, the early relationship between canal and . . . — Map (db m60881) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Brunswick — The Beautiful Aqueduct
The Catoctin Aqueduct, or "Aqueduct No. 3," ranks as one of the premiere stone structures on the C&O Canal. Aqueducts carried the canal's waters over creeks and rivers, allowing boats to float safely above the sometimes turbulent waters below. . . . — Map (db m101016) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Brunswick — Water Power
Canal water was an important ingredient in the production of "C.F. Wenner's Choice Family Flour." Brunswick businessman Charles F. Wenner drew surplus water from the canal near Lock 30 to power the wheels and turbines of his flour mill. Wenner was . . . — Map (db m4334) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Point of Rocks — A Lockkeeper's Life
Lockkeepers were available anytime of the day or night to operate this lock. Tending lock was often a family venture and the canal company preferred family men. Lockkeepers were paid as much as $600 a year, and were provided a lockhouse with a . . . — Map (db m100999) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Point of Rocks — Battle at Point of Rocks
This [railroad] company was met by the most decided and inveterate opposition, on the part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. Philip E. Thomas, President, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company The proximity of railroad tracks by the . . . — Map (db m7661) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Point of Rocks — Point of RocksPoint of Rocks During the War
The rail line immediately before you served as an important means of supply and communication during the Civil War (the station, and tracks to Washington, D.C., on the southern or right side of the station were built later). Here at Point of Rocks, . . . — Map (db m744) HM
Maryland (Frederick County), Point of Rocks — Point of Rocks
In 1832, Point of Rocks served as the western terminus for the C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad. This was not deliberate, but the result of competition as the transportation pioneers wrangled in court for rights to the narrow passage between the . . . — Map (db m59743) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Brookmont — A Canal Home
“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 . . . — Map (db m728) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Cabin John — Cabin John
[ Panel 1] “... in our midst exists one of the most imposing and wonderful structures which engineering skill could devise ...” --William T.S. Curtis, November 1, 1897, from a paper read before the Columbia Historical Society. . . . — Map (db m22636) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Darnestown — DarnestownConfederate Visit — Gettysburg Campaign
On June 25-27, 1863, the Federal Army of the Potomac used two temporary pontoon bridges to cross the Potomac River from Virginia back into Maryland at Edwards Ferry. On the evening and morning of June 27-28, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart led 5,000 . . . — Map (db m1684) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Darnestown — Darnestown: A Strategic Point of DefenseThe Civil War
By the summer of 1861, the Union recognized Darnestown as an ideal location for establishing a major division headquarters. The town was strategically situated at the intersection of roads leading to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and to Washington, . . . — Map (db m69731) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Darnestown — The Origins of Darnestown
Darnestown Road is one of the oldest roads in Montgomery County. Once an old trail, the route dates back to 1600 when it was used by the Seneca Indians. Native Americans Established villages, planted maize, and fished along the Potomac Palisades. . . . — Map (db m69645) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Dickerson — Monocacy AqueductToo Tough To Crack — Antietam Campaign 1862
Confederate Gen. D. H. Hill’s division crossed the Potomac at Point of Rocks on September 4, 1862, and marched south to clear Union forces from the area. His men breached and drained the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at several places, burned canal . . . — Map (db m65210) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Dickerson — Springing Over the MonocacyThe Enduring Aqueduct
Springing Over the Monocacy. Captain William McNeill of the U.S. Topographical Engineers called this aqueduct “...a work which, while it is highly ornamental, unites...in its plan and execution, ‘the true principles of economy, usefulness . . . — Map (db m714) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Dickerson — White’s Ferry
Before you is the last operating ferry on the Potomac River. Early settlers recognized these relatively still waters would provide an ideal location for a ferry. The first known ferry operation here was Conrad’s Ferry in 1817. After the Civil War, . . . — Map (db m741) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Dickerson — White’s FerryInvasion or Liberation. — Antietam Campaign 1862
The serenity of the Maryland countryside was shattered on September 4-6, 1862, as 35,000 Confederate soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia waded across the Potomac River. Gen. Robert E. Lee, hoping to rally support in the divided state, sent . . . — Map (db m807) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Great Falls — A Lift LockChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
When a river, such as the Potomac, was too swift or shallow for navigation, shippers built canals with lift locks along the river course. The C & O Canal consists of flat stretches of water connected by lift locks. The use of locks enabled the canal . . . — Map (db m100771) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Poolesville — An Ideal Crossing
The Potomac River is calm and narrow here, making it an ideal location for a ferry crossing. In 1791 Edwards Ferry began to operate here, connecting Maryland farmers to the Goose Creek Canal in Virginia and to the Leesburg markets. The ferry closed . . . — Map (db m78350) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Poolesville — At the Junction of War and Peace:Lockhouse 25 and Edwards Ferry — Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
In the mid-nineteenth century, Lockhouse 25 and the surrounding community of Edwards Ferry, Maryland, reaped the advantages of their locations. With the nearby river lock, the area served as the bustling entry point to the C&O Canal for agricultural . . . — Map (db m78348) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Poolesville — Edwards FerryStrategic Crossing — Gettysburg Campaign
Gen. Joseph Hooker’s 75,000-man, seven-corps Army of the Potomac crossed the Potomac River here, June 25-27, 1863, on the way to Gettysburg. The army crossed on two 1,400-foot-long pontoon bridges. Heavy rains during those three days made the single . . . — Map (db m33741) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Potomac — Creating a National Park[Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park]
“It is a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet and peace at the Capital …”William O. Douglas. Look around you. The park you stand in exists because people cared. In January 1954, Justice William O. . . . — Map (db m49848) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Potomac — Great Falls of the Potomac
One of the most picturesque spots in Maryland. George Washington came here many times and built canal locks on the Virginia side to make the river navigable for his "Potomac Company." — Map (db m70177) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Potomac — Great Falls Tavern — Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Panel 1 - plaque on the C&O tow path: Life was very different around the Great Falls Tavern during the canal era. The building before you began as a small lockhouse and was added onto twice until it became what you see today. The area . . . — Map (db m71604) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Potomac — Lockhouse 22
If walls could talk then Lockhouse 22 could tell some tales. One might hear about President Grover Cleveland who sought refuge from the pressures of the White HOuse by coming here on fishing trips. Or perhaps the lockhouse would tell of one . . . — Map (db m28302) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Potomac — Potomac River— Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park —
Human habitation in the Potomac River Basin has existed for 9,000 years, according to archeological evidence. The name "Potomac" derives from the Algonquian word "patawomeke," which means "trading place." The first English settlement, St. Mary's . . . — Map (db m61574) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Seneca — Rowser’s Ford5,000 Confederate Cavalrymen Crossed — Gettysburg Campaign
On June 24, 1863, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, leaving 3,000 cavalrymen in Rectortown, Virginia, to monitor Federal activity, led three Confederate cavalry brigades to Haymarket. Encountering Union Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s corps marching north, Stuart sent . . . — Map (db m761) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Seneca — SenecaChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Eleven aqueducts were built from Georgetown to Cumberland to carry water over water. The aqueducts, literally “water bridges,” carried the canal over large streams and rivers flowing into the Potomac River. This aqueduct enters directly . . . — Map (db m96115) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Seneca — Seneca Mill
Sitting near the junction of the Potomac River and the Great Seneca Creek, the Seneca Mill had a long tradition at this pivotal location.

By 1725, a grist mill functioned here as a commercial staple for the small village. Early proprietors . . . — Map (db m96104) HM

Maryland (Montgomery County), Seneca — The Seneca Aqueduct
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 canal’s western terminus at Cumberland, Maryland; all required skilled quarrymen and . . . — Map (db m760) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Seneca — Watering the Canal
Why are there two locks here? While they may look similar, the two locks played very different roles in the operation of the canal. The lock in front of you is Inlet Lock 2. The lock behind you is Lift Lock 23. Lift locks raised and lowered boats to . . . — Map (db m22039) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Silver Spring — A Downtown is BornLocal Institutions — Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue
The Establishment of Silver Spring's first bank and Newspaper, traditional institutions required for a community to grow and prosper, occurred on this corner with the opening of the Silver Spring National Bank in 1910 and publication of The Maryland . . . — Map (db m62165) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Silver Spring — Finding a NicheEarly Family Businesses — Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue
“…A Full Line of Dry Goods and Clothing” was available at Moses Sclar's Grand Leader Store (8221 Georgia Avenue), which opened in 1926 and adjoined John and Joseph Dolan's project (see opposite side) to the south. In operation for . . . — Map (db m79236) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Silver Spring — Spirited EntertainmentWest Side Development — Silver Spring Heritage - Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring's First Movie Theater, the 500-seat SECO (Suburban Electric Company), which opened on November 7, 1927 with the silent film "Fireman Save My Child," was located at 8242-8244 Georgia Avenue. The theater, renamed Roth's Silver . . . — Map (db m78644) HM
Maryland (Montgomery County), Silver Spring — Springing UpMasonic Temple — Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue
At three stories, this was Silver Springs tallest building. Occupying the prime corner lot at 8435 Georgia Avenue was the Masonic Temple, home of the Silver Spring Lodge No. 215 A.F. & A.M. of Maryland. (Ancient and Free Accepted Mason). About three . . . — Map (db m62102) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Antietam — Lock 34, Harpers Ferry
Lock 34 was often referred to as "Goodheart's Lock". Willard Goodheart was the last locktender at this location. Like nearby Lockhouse 33, the lockhouse at Lock 34 was destroyed in the great flood of 1936. Of the 1936 flood, Mr. Goodheart as quoted . . . — Map (db m23872) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Big Pool — Fort FrederickA Witness to War
Built by the Maryland colony in 1756 during the French and Indian War, Fort Frederick’s stone walls surrounded three large buildings. The colonists abandoned the frontier fort in 1759, when the threat of Indian raids subsided. During the . . . — Map (db m821) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Big Pool — Four Locks
Here the Potomac River makes a meandering four-mile loop around Prather’s Neck. To avoid the bend in the river, the canal engineers cut the canal one-half mile across the neck. Because of the rapid elevation change, these four locks were necessary . . . — Map (db m15285) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Big Pool — Mule Power
“Here at Four Locks mule barn, mules rested during the winter months. Boat captains left their mules here, paying a mule tended to care for them. Often the mules grew thin because the keeper did not feed the mules as well as their owners did. . . . — Map (db m15278) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Big Spring — Four Locks
Four Locks – locks 47 through 50 – were built between 1836 and 1838, all within a half-mile stretch of the canal. Nestled amongst these four locks, a close-knit community thrived while the canal was in operation. Businesses prospered, . . . — Map (db m36716) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Clear Spring — Protecting Cultural Resources
Floods occur at regular intervals in the Potomac Valley. Between 1829 and 1998 there have been 144 recorded floods or high water occurrences. repairing flood damage was a continuing battle for the C&O Canal Company and is still a problem for the . . . — Map (db m25142) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Clear Spring — Stonewall Jackson at Dam 5
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Maryland became a border between the Confederacy and the Union. The Confederacy knew that the canal and railroad were important Union supply lines. Stonewall Jackson’s Brigade made several attempts to destroy Dam 5 . . . — Map (db m23561) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Clear Spring — Vital CrossroadsClear Springs in the Civil War
This was a lively Unionist community on the important National Road during the war. In nearby Four Locks on January 31, 1861, local residents raised a 113-foot-high “Union Pole” with a streamer proclaiming the “Union . . . — Map (db m60553) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — A Work of ArtChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Looking at the remaining iron railings and graceful arch of the Tonoloway Aqueduct, it is easy to see why canal company officials referred to the eleven aqueducts along the canal as “works of art.” Built between 1835 and 1839, Aqueduct 7 . . . — Map (db m61165) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — HancockChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park
Situated on the Potomac River at the narrowest point in the state of Maryland the town of Hancock is rich in history. The town is named for Joseph Hancock, Jr., who ferried travelers, traders, and commerce across the Potomac. In 1818, the . . . — Map (db m96126) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — Hancock in the Canal EraChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Construction of the C&O Canal was completed through Hancock by the late 1830s. The network between the coal mines, dealers, merchants, canal company, and tidewater shipping became economically strong. As a result of the increasing prosperity in . . . — Map (db m96128) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — Round Top Cement MillChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park
Across the canal bed are the remains of the once prosperous Round Top Cement Mill. The abundance of high calcium limestone drew cement manufacturers to this area in 1838. A useful material, limestone can be cut into building blocks or burned and . . . — Map (db m96123) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — Round Top GeologyChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
The layers of red sandstone, siltstone, shale and limestone beneath the limekilns on the other side of the canal are like pages in a book to geologists. These folded, even rock layers indicate that millions of years ago this area was covered by a . . . — Map (db m96125) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — St. Thomas Episcopal ChurchUnintended Target
Before you, at the top of Church Street, stands St. Thomas Episcopal Church, which became an unintended target of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s artillery on January 5-6, 1862. Jackson had led his force from Winchester, Virginia to . . . — Map (db m832) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — The C&O Canal: Serving the Potomac ValleyChesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was a crucial strand in an economic web stretching from the mountain town of Cumberland to the tidewater ports of Georgetown and Alexandria. The canal depended on the prosperity of the nearby towns, businesses and . . . — Map (db m96127) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Hancock — The Historic Bowles HouseHancock Visitor Center — Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Built in the 1780’s this farm house witnessed the arrival of the C&O Canal in the mid-1830’s. Located at the east side of Hancock, the house residents catered to canawlers who passed through Lock 52 and the Tonoloway Aqueduct, selling goods and . . . — Map (db m61164) HM
Maryland (Washington County), near Sharpsburg — Ferry HillFarm, Ferry and Freedom
The brick home in front of you (Picture included) once stood at the heart of a Western Maryland plantation called "Ferry Hill." Built between 1812 and 1820, the plantation consisted of nearly 700 acres of land, a tavern, and a ferry. An enslaved . . . — Map (db m58252) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Lift Lock 33
Here, the forces of nature created a natural corridor for commerce. The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers carved a notch in the mountains, providing passage west. Communities grew up on both sides of the river and later a turnpike, railroad, and canal . . . — Map (db m4978) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sharpsburg — A View into the Past
This Civil War era photograph offers a glimpse into the two Shepherdstown communities that grew up along the river. The stone pilings in this photograph were all that remained of the covered bridge burned by Confederate troops led by Stonewall . . . — Map (db m60705) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sharpsburg — Ferry Hill Place
John Blackford, in 1810, built the Ferry Hill Plantation House standing before you. Blackford owned 25 slaves and managed the farm by himself. The slaves and hired laborers worked with minimum direction. Two slaves, Ned and Jupe, ran the river ferry . . . — Map (db m1971) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sharpsburg — Packhorse Ford
A day after the Battle of Antietam, Confederate General Robert E. Lee retreated to the safety of the West Virginia (then Virginia) bluffs across the river from here. This was the only good crossing on the river for many miles upstream or downstream. . . . — Map (db m6983) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sharpsburg — ShepherdstownA Town on the Crossroads of History
History passed through the town of Shepherdstown for centuries. Native Americans cross the Potowomack River at the ford below the bluffs. German settlers crossed at Packhorse Ford as they emigrated from Pennsylvania into Virginia's Shenandoah . . . — Map (db m60706) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Williamsport — Conococheague Creek AqueductChesapeake an Ohio Canal National Historical Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Eleven aqueducts were built from Georgetown to Cumberland to carry water over water. The aqueducts, literally “water bridges,” carried the canal over the large streams and rivers flowing into the Potomac River.

The Conococheague . . . — Map (db m60571) HM

Maryland (Washington County), Williamsport — Creating a National ParkChesapeake an Ohio Canal National Historical Park
It is a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet and peace at the Capital’s back door…William O. Douglas.

Look around you. The park you stand in exists because people cared. In January 1954, Justice William O. Douglas of the Supreme . . . — Map (db m60585) HM

Maryland (Washington County), Williamsport — Springfield Farm(Circa 1755)
Home of Brig. Gen. Otho Holland Williams, Revolutionary War hero and founder, 1786, of Williamsport, and of Col. Elie Williams, president of commission to lay out National Road and chief surveyor Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. President George . . . — Map (db m3909) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Williamsport — WilliamsportA Town on the Edge of History — Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
William’s Port lay on the edge of the Maryland frontier in 1787 when founded by Revolutionary War hero General Otho Holland Williams. In 1790 this river town nearly became capital of the United States when President George Washington personally . . . — Map (db m60583) HM
Virginia, Alexandria — Alexandria Canal (1843 - 1886)Lock #3
Buried beneath this canal stone lies Lock #3 of the Alexandria Canal, which connected the Harbor of Alexandria with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown, D.C. between 1843 and 1886. After Crossing the Potomac on an aqueduct bridge near the . . . — Map (db m80668) HM
Virginia (Arlington County), Arlington — Fort C.F. SmithDefending the Capital
Fort C.F. Smith was constructed in early 1863 as part of the expansion and strengthening of the capital’s defenses that continued throughout the Civil War. With Forts Strong, Morton and Woodbury, Fort C.F. Smith formed the outer perimeter of the . . . — Map (db m5099) HM
Virginia (Arlington County), Arlington — Fort C.F. SmithMr. Lincoln’s Forts — Defenses of Washington, 1861-1865
Fort C.F. Smith was constructed in 1863 on farmland appropriated from William Jewell. The fort was named in honor of Gen. Charles Ferguson Smith, who was instrumental in the Union victory at Fort Donelson, Tennessee in 1862. The fortification was . . . — Map (db m5101) HM
Virginia (Arlington County), Arlington — Rosslyn
Rosslyn traditionally has served as a principal gateway to Arlington and to Virginia. Captain John Smith explored this area in 1608. Awbrey's Ferry carried travelers across the Potomac for more than a century in the 1700s and 1800s. The Aqueduct . . . — Map (db m82493) HM
Virginia (Loudoun County), Leesburg — Additional Area Civil War Sites
1. Sugarloaf Mountain - This was the site of a Union Signal Corps station that remained in operation throughout much of the war. 2. White's Ferry - Originally called Conrad's Ferry, this crossing was established in 1817 about four miles . . . — Map (db m27839) HM
Virginia (Loudoun County), Leesburg — Edwards FerryAn Eighty-Mile-Long Column — Gettysburg Campaign
After Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, he led the Army of Northern Virginia west to the Shenandoah Valley, then north through central Maryland and across the Mason-Dixon Line into . . . — Map (db m63737) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Romney In The Civil WarStrategic Location on the Turnpike
Romney experienced many troop movements and skirmishes during the course of the war because of its location on the vitally important North Western Turnpike The road linked Winchester, near the northern end of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, with . . . — Map (db m58654) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Charles Town — Rutherford House“Go in!” — 1864 Valley Campaign
<Preface:> The Federal offensive in the Shenandoah Valley began in May 1864 faltered in the summer with Confederate victories and Gen. Jubal A. Early’s Washington Raid in July. Union General Philip H. Sheridan took command in August, . . . — Map (db m41661) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Shenandoah Canal
In 1806, workmen with hand tools widened and deepened this channel for cargo boats to bypass, or "skirt," the rapids in the Shenandoah River. Linked with many other skirting canals" en route to Washington, D.C., this passage became part of the . . . — Map (db m18988) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church
Construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad produced an influx of Irish laborers into the Harpers Ferry area during the early 1830's. St. Peter's Catholic Church, completed in 1833, symbolizes America's melting . . . — Map (db m18789) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Iron Horse Wins
Work on the railroad and canal progressed slowly at first, but by 1834 both companies had completed construction to a point opposite Harpers Ferry. The canal had won the race to this point and it continued up the Maryland side of the Potomac. The . . . — Map (db m12062) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Mule Falters
As the railroad streaked westward from Harpers Ferry, the C&O Canal fell hopelessly behind in the race for Ohio. Burdened by a lack of building supplies and a scarcity of skilled labor, the canal encountered serious financial problems and did not . . . — Map (db m12064) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Race to the Ohio
Rail transportation in the United States began in Baltimore, Maryland on July 4, 1828, when Charles Carroll, the only living signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the cornerstone of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad On the same day President . . . — Map (db m12060) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Shepherdstown — River Crossing
Shepherdstown was established near a natural ford used by American Indians and early settlers to cross the Potomac River. A ferry service, begun in 1775, reliably connected Shepherdstown with communities throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania for . . . — Map (db m60701) HM
West Virginia (Morgan County), Berkley Springs — Lovers' Leap
Beautiful panorama of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It overlooks the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal which was started by George Washington and associates in order to improve communication with the west. — Map (db m97341) HM

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