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Georgetown in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

At All Hours

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
 
At All Hours Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, February 20, 2006
1. At All Hours Marker
Inscription.  “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 boat captain put his life and livelihood in the hands of the locktender. The wooden lock gates were a delicate balance between safety and efficiency. They had to be light enough to allow one man to move them, yet strong enough to hold back 140,000 gallons of water. A skilled locktender could judge and adjust the flow of water in or out of the lock to minimize the risk to boat and lock.

Locktenders were responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of liftlocks. Neglect or carelessness could mean disaster. In exchange for a small monthly salary, an acre of land and a house, locktenders heeded the horn blast of boatmen even at 2 a.m. or on Sunday. After all, time was money.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce
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Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal series list.
 
Location. 38° 54.255′ N, 77° 3.617′ W. Marker is in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia. It is in Georgetown. Marker is on C&O Canal Towpath Northwest west of Thomas Jefferson Street Northwest, on the left when traveling west. The C&O Canal Towpath is an official street in this area because there are private residences accessible only by the towpath. It is pedestrian-only since it is too narrow for cars in places and set below street level. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1058 Thomas Jefferson Street Northwest, Washington DC 20007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Creating a National Park (here, next to this marker); Mule Power (a few steps from this marker); Georgetown and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); The Georgetown House (within shouting distance of this marker); William O. Douglas (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northwest Washington.
 
Also see . . .  Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. (Submitted on March 1, 2006.)
At All Hours Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, September 10, 2016
2. At All Hours Marker
The marker is only a few steps from Thomas Jefferson Street along the towpath.
 
Canal Boat <i>The Georgetown</i> image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, February 20, 2006
3. Canal Boat The Georgetown
When the canal is filled and operating, the lock (narrow portion directly in front of the boat), raises and lowers boats so they can proceed. The canal has a total of 74 locks along its 184 mile length. The locks lift boats from sea level in Georgetown to 600 feet altitude in Cumberland, Maryland. The bridge over the lock is 29th Street, with the 30th Street bridge behind the photographer.
Lock Under Repair image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, February 20, 2006
4. Lock Under Repair
The fourth lock on the canal. Notice the private townhouses off the towpath on the left. The bridge in the distance is Thomas Jefferson Street, with 31st Street behind the photographer.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2023. It was originally submitted on March 1, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,705 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 1, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   2. submitted on September 11, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.   3. submitted on March 1, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   4. submitted on March 2, 2006. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024