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

Great Falls in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Washington's Canal

 
 
Washington's Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 9, 2012
1. Washington's Canal Marker
Inscription.  This will become the great avenue into the Western Country. - George Washington

The stone wall you see nearby is not just any stone wall; it was built here in the late 1700s as part of George Washington's Patowmack Canal. The wall is a section of the Seneca Bypass, which enabled boatmen to skirt Seneca Falls. The canal was Washington's tireless project to make the Potomac River navigable. His dream would eventually bring commerce to the Atlantic seaboard from the Ohio country and points west, where few men had yet ventured. Although the canal company went bankrupt and Washington died two years before his canal system was finished in 1802, he had succeeded in making the Potomac navigable, if only for a time.
 
Erected by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks series list.
 
Location. 39° 3.44′ N, 77° 19.61′ W. Marker is in Great Falls, Virginia
Boatmen Reenactors image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 9, 2012
2. Boatmen Reenactors
Boatmen poled flour, whiskey, and pig iron to Georgetown ports from Cumberland, Maryland. The trip took three to five days downstream and 10 to 12 hard days return upstream.
, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Seneca Road, on the right when traveling north. Located on a trail through the "Seneca Tract" park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Great Falls VA 22066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rowser's Ford (approx. half a mile away); Crossing the Potomac at Rowser's Ford (approx. half a mile away); Watering the Canal (approx. 0.7 miles away in Maryland); Seneca (approx. 1.1 miles away in Maryland); The Seneca Aqueduct (approx. 1.1 miles away in Maryland); a different marker also named Rowser’s Ford (approx. 1.1 miles away in Maryland); a different marker also named Rowser’s Ford (approx. 1.2 miles away in Maryland); Life During Encampment in Montgomery County (approx. 1.3 miles away in Maryland). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great Falls.
 
Patowmack Canal Company Logo image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 9, 2012
3. Patowmack Canal Company Logo
The Patowmack Canal Company was founded in 1785, and George Washington was appointed its president - four years before becoming the first President of the United States. His company built five bypass canals, like this one at Seneca, and improved miles of riverbed. Boats plied the waterway from 1788 to 1830, bringing products from the western frontier.
Remains of the Canal image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 9, 2012
4. Remains of the Canal
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 376 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 22, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Jul. 11, 2020